Government through Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development is failing to collect over P400 million owed by young people funded through Youth Development Fund (YDF).The ministry’s Permanent Secretary Kago Ramokate said they have set themselves a target of collecting P6 million annually but only managed to collect P2.8 million as payment for the grants given to the youth through YDF.
He told Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee this week that the ministry annually disburses on average P114 million for funding of youth projects. He explained that the collection of funds is faced with two challenges. “There are those young people who are unable to repay the loan and there are those who are reluctant to pay.
Those who are unable to pay is (sic) because their businesses are struggling or have failed. There are those who are reluctant in the sense that their busineses are doing well but they are reluctant to come forth to pay the 50 percent loan. “So the recovery of the loan will always depend on the performance of the project funded,” he said.
YDF is an empowerment programme aimed at promoting active participation of youth in the socio-economic development of the country. It aims to encourage the out-of-school, marginalised and unemployed youth to venture into sustainable and viable income generating projects. It also aims to promote the development of competitive sustainable and growth oriented citizen owned youth enterprises.
Ramokate revealed that they do not have guidelines for YDF and that they are currently working on them and will be ready by January 2019. He said they are working with beneficiaries to resuscitate collapsed projects that are viable. For projects that have no hope, the ministry salvages equipment that was bought and sell it by public auction in respective districts while others are donated to various government departments.