Pretoria – Government has commended the youth for participating in various outreach activities and dialogues during Youth Month.
The month of June is marked as Youth Month and this year it celebrated under the theme: “Youth Moving South Africa Forward”.
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Wednesday said during the month, hundreds of young people embarked on a freedom walk from Freedom Park to Tshwane Events Centre to hand over their pledges to the country’s leadership.
Also, government embarked on approximately 100 activities across the country throughout June, including outreach events, career seminars, youth dialogues and exhibitions in which the youth participated.
Most of these activities focused on post-schooling opportunities, skills training and development, entrepreneurship in various sectors such as science and technology, agriculture, arts, engineering and firefighting.
Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams encouraged the youth to continue playing an active role in building a non-sexist and non-racial country.
“We would like to thank the youth for coming out in numbers for participating in the Youth Month activities and acknowledge the role they are playing in achieving the vision of this country,” she said.
Government echoes the call by the President for young people to prioritise education and acquire skills to contribute to the success of the country.
“Government acknowledges that our economy is not growing at the faster pace that it should, and as a result job creation remains a challenge. We would like to thank companies that continue to create job opportunities for young people because government cannot do it alone.
“We reiterate the call made by President Zuma to the private sector to align their strategies with the youth employment accord and join hands with government to create employment opportunities such as internships and learnership programmes for young people,” said Williams.
During the month, Presidential Zuma visited the Tshwane University of Technology’s Soshanguve campus under the Siyahlola monitoring programme where students and academics engaged in issues such as the living conditions of students at the residences and liquor outlets near campuses.
The President also launched the Presidential Youth Working Group.
The Eastern Cape Human Settlement Department launched the Youth Build Programme whereby 50 unemployed youths were placed to build 50 houses for vulnerable groups in Mdantsane.
“This programme is an annual ground breaking initiative that provides training and employment opportunities to unemployed youth in the building and construction industry,” the department said.
Gauteng Transport and Roads Department and the West Rand District Municipality also handed over 1500 bicycles to learners in Bekkersdal as part of the Shovakalula Bicycle Project.
“This is a national initiative by the Department of Transport that seeks to provide learners walking over 3km between home and school with a mode of transport. To date, 16 000 learners are beneficiaries of this project in Gauteng,” the department said.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) also partnered with the Mara Foundation to empower and inspire South Africa’s young talented entrepreneurs. The purpose of the collaboration is to enable young South Africans to be mentored by industry leaders via the new Mara Mentor App.
“Denel also launched the youth book aimed at educating and encouraging learners to pursue careers in the defence industry and technology that drives it.
“The book is targeted at learners between Grades 7 and 9, with the intention to open up the world of science, innovation and technology in the defence sector,” said the GCIS.
Government is determined to achieve the youth development goals as outlined in the National Youth Policy 2015-2020 which is anchored on the National Development Plan (NDP).
“The objectives of the policy are to create job opportunities, skills development, improve access to healthcare services and to education and eradicate substance abuse among the youths,” said GCIS.