The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture is introducing an electronic data-base to keep track of beneficiaries of the Youth Development Fund (YDF).
The YDF started in 2008 but the ministry does not have proper records of the number of clients or failed projects.
The scheme aims at empowering youth to own businesses and create sustainable employment opportunities for young people. It caters for out of school youth, the unemployed and underemployed.
The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng has said they are conducting a comprehensive study to have proper records on what kind of challenges YDF beneficiaries face.
“The electronic data base will help us to manage and have proper records on all the schemes that we do have. Some of the businesses that we funded had failed, my ministry has to know the reasons behind the failure and the number of those that are still operating. Some of the ones that are still existing need to be evaluated and be helped with money to grow bigger,” Olopeng said. He said they are going to refinance some businesses depending on need. Each business would be assessed case by case.
“Those who will benefit are the ones that are paying their loan. It will even include the ones who had finished paying their loans.” The minister admitted that there is need for a market survey so that youth may be advised on the business they can undertake. He said his ministry is planning to take 25 young athletes outside the country for training and studies.
“We managed to identify these students through their schools. These are students who are good in sports. We also have 39 students who are playing softball. The ministry is doing something to assist them to achieve what they want. My ministry is still negotiating with some of the countries about these students,” he said.