“Night vigil did not cost R6 million” – eThekwini
The matric results night vigil hosted by eThekwini Municipality in partnership with several Non-Government Organisations, who initiated this event, cost around R750 000 which went towards logistics costs including venue hire, transport, marquee hire, and did not cost ratepayers R6 million as reported on social media platforms, a statement issued by the council said.
It reported that the event was a resounding success and that the it was aimed at providing moral support to matric students who were anxiously waiting for their matric results. The municipality said that the initiative was part of the City’s broader programme to support students both mentally and financially. The event focused on providing psychological support, counselling, motivation, career guidance (bursary information and on the job training etc), and engagement with the 2016 matric learners prior to receiving their results. This annual event has been taking place for the past two years.
The event further sought to inculcate a positive mind-set and give hope to learners who might have failed in their matric year and inform them about other avenues they can pursue going forward in order to succeed in life.
To reiterate the City’s commitment to youth empowerment, the 2016/17 budget has set aside R100 million for youth programmes.
An ambitious project to be undertaken by the Municipality is the Artisan Development Programme which would see the City facilitate the training of 10 000 youth as artisans over the next three years. The programme will cost R741 million and will train the youth in various trades.
Another initiative aimed at assisting youth is the Mayoral Student Financial Relief Fund which was introduced in 2015 and offers bursaries to learners who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they have access to education. The fund provides deserving learners with registration fees and assistance to those with outstanding academic tuition fees. The programme has since benefited 380 disadvantaged students.
Furthermore, a sum of R4,5 million has been set aside for the 2017 academic year by the Municipality to assist students from impoverished backgrounds.