Cape Town - The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) has empowered more than 15 000 youths on short skills programmes and 3000 more in artisan programmes over the past six years.
This was possible after the NHBRC entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Human Settlements Department to provide training with specific focus on women in construction, youth brigades, people with disabilities and military veterans.
This was revealed by Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi when she was responding to ANC MP Michael Masutha, who asked about the number of young people who have been enrolled in the training programmes and whether there have been any employment intakes of young people through the programmes.
“Since the signing of the MOU in 2015, the NHBRC offers a youth training programme designed to equip young people with technical skills such as bricklaying, plastering, plumbing and roofing.
“To date, the NHBRC has empowered 15 048 youth in the Short Skills Programme and 3 572 in the Artisan Programme,” Kubayi said.
She also said the NHBRC received requests for the training of youth from other government stakeholders who worked directly with the youth at the local authority level.
“There are established working relationships for training and assisting the youth to access employment opportunities. The NHBRC, municipalities, provincial departments and the National Youth Development Agency work together in equipping the youth to access employment opportunities,” she said.
Kubayi said some of the youth who have completed N6 qualifications formed part of the NHBRC internship programme.
Meanwhile, Kubayi blamed the Covid-19 pandemic and problems experienced when auditors at Housing Development Agency were changed for the delays in auditing the agency’s finances last year.
She said there were delays in the communication between the new external auditor and the outgoing external auditor obtaining permission to accept the engagement in terms of the auditing standards, which resulted in the current external auditors completing their auditing strategy in the second week of June 2021.
“The norm is for the audit to commence annually, in the first week of June.”
Kubayi also said the finance employees of the Housing Development Agency were infected by Covid-19, which led to the whole finance team, including the supply chain management staff, isolating for 10 days.
“The staff of the auditors had to self-isolate as well since they were working very closely with the HDA employee.
“On the days that the offices were closed for deep cleaning, the auditors could not work because they relied on hard copies that were locked in the offices,” she said.
Kubayi said, in the week after the isolation period, the country was hit by riots and looting.
“The finance team and auditors’ team that use public transport could not commute to work,” she said.