Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Youth Development as well as Administration, Buti Manamela, has responded to a report by the South African Institute of Race Relations.
The report, titled “Born free but still in chains”, suggests that the country’s youth will become more violent and abandon democratic institutions as they feel increasingly alienated, among other things.
Deputy Minister Manamela said in a statement that the definition of youth in the South African context is 15-35 years.
He explained that government policies are created to address the needs, interests and aspirations of that demographic.
Through the National Youth Policy 2015 – 2020 (NYP2020), which is a set of government’s commitments in advancing youth development, a number of policy proposals have been made to ensure that young people are provided an enabling ground for upliftment and development.
He said that as stated in the situation analysis of the NYP2020, government concedes to the myriad challenges that face South Africa’s youth.
Government is providing solutions to address the challenges through various policy proposals.
“Government is committed to building a youth that is educated and skilled, actively participating in the economy, healthy as well as socially cohesive,” Deputy Minister Manamela said.
Furthermore, the NYP2020 will be accompanied by an integrated youth development strategy to ensure that the youth policy is implemented by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), all three spheres of government as well at state-owned enterprises.
“Youth development is everybody’s business, government, business and civil society, therefore we should all work together to provide a hand-up to young people,” Deputy Minister Manamela said.
He said a youth that is not productive will be to the detriment of all of society.
Recent statistics have painted a picture that indicates that black South Africans are still missing out on essential skills while young white and coloured people are soaring in gaining skills.
“To suggest that steps taken to redress the imbalances of the past is racial profiling that perpetuates a sense of victimhood and entitlement is outlandish.
“This government will continue in their quest to level the playing fields and ensure that young, black South Africans are provided the same opportunities as white youth,” Deputy Minister Manamela said.