Our country is globally known as the most unequal society with vast socio-economic challenges. These challenges need determined role players in challenging the status quo. Although we appreciate much effort that has been done 29 years into democracy, we are not oblivious to the reality our society is currently facing. This has directly translated to progressive initiatives such as IEDF being the voice and catalyst of those excluded by the system.

On the 15 April 2023, a Youth Networking Event was held at the Library Auditorium at the University of the Western Cape. As Ambassadors and event coordinators, we are astounded to share our observations, insights, and excitement on the youth event inspired by the vision and mission of IEDF.

The event was attended by more than 100 attendees who contributed immensely and meaningfully to the event. The program had IEDF ambassador Avuya Meleni as the Program Director, IEDF President Rosheda Muller, IEDF ambassador Mangaliso Nompula, IEDF Business Development Director Chantal Maxim, NYDA, ABSA, SASCO as Speakers of the day.

All Speakers were very informative and encouraged engagements post their inputs. This was proven by the engagement session from the audience, which by in large was very inspiring, thought provoking and reassuring IEDF to further be the protector and catalyst of informal and small businesses. Attendees were very much inquisitive on the security and growth of their businesses such that when questions were posed, one would detect that the existence of IEDF plays a vital role in making sure that the inequalities in informal and formal business is reduced.

The event had a diverse audience from Khayelitsha, Delft, Gugulethu and University off and on Campus Residences. Unity in diversity is one of the principles that will create the necessary change within our society and its complex socio-economic challenges. As we always attest that statistically, the global population in general and South African population in particular, predominantly has youth at the centre. This further promulgates that the neglect of youth investment will be the downfall of every noble cause of nation building. The youth networking session reminded many of the importance of youth involvement, informal economic emancipation, the spirit of UBUNTU and how together we can achieve greater heights.

The youth networking event had young people eager to self-sustain, build local economies, work hand and glove in bringing about change unto communities in different areas of our economy.

The IEDF has a very strong focus on Youth Empowerment through Training and Development, due to high unemployment rate amongst our youth. We call on all youth that need training in Entrepreneurship, Work Readiness and Career Growth. Join the IEDF now and create a better future for yourself!!

In conclusion, the Youth Networking Event was a valuable opportunity for attendees to connect and learn from one another and most importantly grasp the content of IEDF. While there were areas of improvement, the overall event was a great success and well received by attendees. As Ambassadors and event coordinators for the Informal Economy Development Forum, we remain committed to supporting the success of the future events and unifying the informal economy role players.


Avuya Meleni IEDF Ambassador WC, Sasco Member.

Mangaliso Nompula IEDF Ambassador National Spokesman Sasco

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