The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is putting youth matters high on the agenda in Nelson Mandela Bay this month after securing leading parliamentarian Mlungisi ‘Lulu’ Johnson to deliver a lecture at its monthly Coega Business Forum.
The forum will be held in New Brighton today aa June.
“There is no better person than Mlungisi ‘Lulu’ Johnson to address the youth on the opportunities and obstacles they face,” said Ayanda Vilakazi, Coega Development Corporation head of marketing and communications. “He has literally run the gauntlet when it comes to engaging youth issues – both when he was young and still today.”
Mlungisi ‘Lulu’ Johnson, who is from Port Elizabeth originally, has been a Member of Parliament since 2004. He served as the African National Congress Youth league (ANCYL) president from 1994 to 1996 and in several other influential positions including being a member of the ANC National Executive Committee; ANC Secretary for New Brighton; and President of Congress of South African Students (COSAS) from 1983 until it was banned in 1985.
He is currently the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Co-Chairperson of the ad hoc Committee of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
Johnson will speak about the challenges facing the youth today and the solutions that will lead to a programme of action.
“This forum takes place at a critical juncture for the youth of South Africa and is an opportunity for youth to network, debate and share information on youth matters with youth interest groups, stakeholders and other local organisations,” added Vilakazi.
The CDC has a strong focus on youth development through its intern programme which has seen 248 people pass through its doors since it started in 2005. It also has a one-of-a-kind driver training programme which teaches the youth driving skills, making them more employable. To date, the CDC has provided free driving training to over 500 unemployed graduates and youth in the Eastern Cape.
“Moreover, our Human Capital Solutions unit has registered more than 198 000 people for future employment, put over 43 000 into employment and trained more than 8 000 in the past year,” said Vilakazi.
“Part of our commitment to development is creating an environment – both for our staff and the people of Nelson Mandela Bay – for deeper understanding of the issues confronting South Africa. The outcome of this commitment is the business forum and engagement with calibre speakers such as Mlungisi Johnson.”
The Coega Business Forum was initiated earlier this year and has already hosted top level strategic thinker Dr Clem Sunter and political economy analyst Zamikhaya Maseti, with further agenda-setting speakers planned for the remainder of the year.
The Coega Youth Day Business Forum takes place on Monday, June 11 at the Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth from 6:30pm. The event is free, but space is limited.