Challenge for Tsumeb Youth

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK The Mayor of Tsumeb Engel Nawatiseb has appealed to young people at the town to submit project proposals that will enable council to lobby for support in the area of job-creation from local stakeholders. Currently, the town has an unemployment rate of 34 percent, largely as a result of lack of investment, though the national rate is 37 percent. Nawatiseb said lack of employment among the youths has led to other social problems at the town. Alcohol and drug abuse by young people has become one of the issues of concern among community leaders. “We want our youth to give hearing to our advice by encouraging them once again to produce project proposals to enable councillors to lobby for support from local and other stakeholders whenever possible,” said Nawatiseb. Though Tsumeb is known for its clean environment and streets, he raised concern over the growing number of illegal hawkers on the streets. This has prompted council to introduce by-laws for the protection of the environment amongst others. “The by-law prohibits littering and vandalism of public property and anybody seen contravening the by-law will feel the pinch,” he warned. The mayor also noted with disappointment that the young people especially during weekends have developed a tendency to smash beer bottles on tarred roads and in front of bottle stores. He again warned that such behaviour will not be tolerated and that anyone found engaging in such acts will be arrested, fined or imprisoned. Meanwhile, Tsumeb council has applauded the Ongopolo/Weatherly mine for recently employing about 50 youths from the town as temporary workers. According to Nawatiseb, the mine has been an equal partner in the drive towards poverty alleviation and the minimization of unemployment. The Human Resource Manager at the mine Isai Nekundi says close to 50 youths will work on a one-month project that involves the Copper Smelter complex. It is routine that every five years, the furnace and all accessories be replaced. “We have to replace the whole furnace and re-build from the floor upwards,” he said. In view of this, the mayor urged employed youths to commit themselves to their new jobs during this first round of recruitment. “The youth should not disappoint the leadership of the town by failing their employers since future employment will be judged on the commitment and the level of seriousness amongst employed youth at the town,” said Nawatiseb.