Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has urged youth to participate in Parliament’s public hearings, especially on matters pertaining to the country’s development.
“Parliament must hear your views and you must participate in the democratic processes. Parliament has asked for people to make inputs on land expropriation without compensation and you must participate because Parliament is going to look into all the [inputs]…
“You cannot sit and not send in your inputs,” said Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
She was speaking at the official launch of Youth Month 2018 on Monday at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Dlamini-Zuma said land was an important asset when it comes to levelling out the societal inequalities that exist in South Africa. According to the World Bank, South Africa is the most unequal society.
“The World Bank report states that South Africa is the most unequal society. At some stage, we were number three. Now we are number one,” the Minister said.
In South Africa, there is inequality in income, consumption and wealth.
“Assets are very important and land is one of the important aspects. We need land for business, residence, social infrastructure and agriculture… You need land for everything,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
She said if the country is to achieve economic freedom, the nation must be “disciplined, focused and we must not be destructive”.
The Minister emphasised the need to engage with young people and hear from them what they want to be done to mark Youth Month.
She challenged the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to start dialogues with the youth in Soweto on the importance of June 16.
NYDA chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni reiterated the call for 40% of jobs in government and the private sector to be earmarked for youth.
“Youth unemployment is a direct attack and threat to our democracy because when young people idle outside of employment, education or training, they become prey to violence and crime,” Mtsweni said.
Mtsweni announced that the NYDA has increased the grant funding threshold for youth in businesses in ICT and agriculture to R250 000.
“As NYDA, we no longer give out loans. We give out a grant to a young person because we want to give a young person a hand up,” he said.
Oupa Moloto from the June 16th Foundation urged youth to get educated and stop destroying infrastructure, including learning institutions.
NYDA grant beneficiary Thato Ditsele thanked the agency for the opportunity to grow her business. Ditsele too urged youth to get educated as a means of enhancing their skills set.
“The skills are required but education [comes] first because it gives you a leg to stand on. Even when you say ‘I’m the owner of a business’, you own it with your Masters, and you know your work and businesses inside and out.
“It gives you confidence that you actually can do it on your own and you have the knowledge and skills for it,” Ditsele said.
This year’s Youth Month is being celebrated under the theme ‘Live the Legacy: Towards a Socio-Economically Empowered Youth’. This is in line with government’s programme to celebrate the centenary year of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. – SAnews.gov.za