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Remarks at Youth Month Closing Gala Dinner
6/30/2018
REMARKS BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NYDA), MR SIFISO MTSWENI AT THE OCCASION OF THE NYDA YOUTH MONTH CLOSING GALA DINNER, HAYANI GUEST HOUSE, POLOKWANE- LIMPOPO PROVINCE, 30 JUNE 2018
 
Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Service, Mr Thabang Makwetla
Premier of Limpopo Province, Mr Stan Chupu Mathabatha
Deputy Chairperson of the NYDA Board, Ms Bavelile Hlongwa
NYDA Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer, Mr Waseem Carrim
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Partners in Youth Development,
Future of South Africa,
 
Today marked yet another painful day for the people of Limpopo in general and South Africans in particular. We laid to rest the mortal remains of late MEC of Agriculture, Mme Joyce Mashamba.
 In its statement the South African Communist Party declared Mme Mashamba as “A fine revolutionary, resolute gender activist, and communist to the end”. We say rest in eternal peace Ma, and that your spirit should continue to guide the fight for a just society for women and children.
This is because the latest Statistics South Africa Report titled Crime against Women in South Africa: An in-depth analysis of the Victims of Crime Survey data 2018, suggests that the murder rates of men and women declined between 2000 and 2015‚ but the murder rate for women more than doubled (117%) between 2015 and 2016/17.
Addressing the launch of Youth Month 2018, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mama Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma raised questioned South Africa’s youth saying “Why do we find it in ourselves to kill each other (which is an antithesis of the fact that the previous generation was killed by the apartheid system)?”
The struggle for young people remains prevalent in our society. We, therefore, have committed ourselves as the Agency to work with community-based organizations and youth structures to ensure that the lives of young people are prioritized. We took time to address the National Youth Summit on Crime Prevention and encouraged youth to play an important role in creating safer communities and environments.
We urge call on all young men to join the South African government’s’ 100 Men March to stop violence against women and children. The march will take place on the 10th of July 2018, at Pretoria Church Square at 10h00 am.
This evening marks an official closing ceremony of the Youth Month. Celebrated under the theme “Live the Legacy: Towards a Socio-Economically Empowered Youth”. A theme informed by the centenary celebrations of the life and times of Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. However, we must reiterate our position that the role of our youth in the struggle for freedom and democracy must be celebrated every day. Both government and private sector should in their work promote the inclusion and participation of young people in the mainstream economy.
Reflections of Youth Month
·        Youth Day
This years’ Youth Day was preceded by the traditional launch at the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum, Soweto. We began the month by outlining our month long-activities directed at ensuring that we expand the NYDA footprint by establishing full service branches and district service centres. We also committed to use the month of young people to share real life stories of NYDA beneficiaries by conduction beneficiary sites.
On Youth Day, President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency. Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa lead a Youth Day Thuma Mina Walk from the historic Morris Isaacson Secondary School to the Hector Pieterson for a wreath laying ceremony. The most important declaration on Youth Day, is during the Presidents’ keynote address at Orlando Stadium on 16 Jun 2018, when he said:
“On this Youth Day, we call on all companies – both in the public and private sector – to make a deliberate effort to seek out unemployed graduates and employ them.”
A commitment that as the NYDA will follow and take to task public and private sector on a quarterly basis. We must be able through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation understand how far every sector of society has moved in implementing policies aimed at improving the lives of young people.
·        Accessibility of the NYDA
Exactly 419 days ago a new Board of the NYDA was appointed to lead a youth development trajectory in South Africa. Following rigorous induction training and a strategic planning session the Board resolved to embark on a journey to fulfil its vision and mission of becoming an activist, capable and developmental agency for South Africa’s Youth.
This month we begun our path of ensuring that we bridge the distance between a young person and an NYDA Office. Our view remains that a person should not be taken from pillar to post to access our services and any other related intervention and programmes.
We successfully opened a full service branch of the NYDA at Empangeni near Richards Bay in partnership with the Umhlathuze Municipality. Unveiled a brand new relocated branch at Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, and launched media partnership with Rise FM. This will go a long in ensuring that young people of that Province reach news and updates related to the work of the NYDA and listen to testimonies by beneficiaries of our programmes. We have also unveiled six mobile vehicles in partnership with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial Government.
These vehicles serve as outreach vehicle and mobile office, ensuring that we reach young people in rural areas. In the month of July, in honour of Tata Nelson Mandela we will officially launch service centres in Tzaneen and Groblersdal. This will add access to the existing branches of NYDA in Polokwane and Thulamela. Being the latest branch of the NYDA in this Province, the Thulamela Branch has to date disbursed 18 grants to the value of over R 400 000 (in the Mopani area only) and provided various programmes such mentorship, and 2283 have undergone Job preparedness training.
The above mentioned branches have done us proud in continuing to deliver necessary services to the youth of the Province. It is in this province, that we came to visit beneficiaries of the NYDA. This followed the gravesite visit of the late Lion of the North, Peter Mokaba, whom we had dedicated this youth month to his life and contribution to our liberation. We on behalf of South Africa’s young people promised to never betray the course of freedom, for freedom without economic emancipation of youth remain a mirage.
·        Branches Report
The NYDA branches have throughout the Youth Month gave necessary messages to the Youth Sectoral Parliaments in various province. we have indicated our desire to see resolution of these gathering finding resonance and practicality in the lives of young people. We must move from policy to practice. Enough with talk shops, youth development must transform the lives of young people.
Through our branches we have reached out to youth with disabilities since they have indicated that they feel neglected and marginalised on youth development matters. It has been therefore our preoccupation to ensure that we attend and resolve their issues. We have interacted through our Bloemfontein office with SIGNA Academy focusing on training and skills development for youth with disabilities. NYDA has provided EDP training and will sign a partnership agreement at the end of July.
We took part in the Gauteng Career Expo at Nasrec. The highlight being NYDA beneficiaries had an opportunity to display their craft and businesses for the duration of the exhibitions. A discussion on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the future of work was held by the Department of Labour and Science and Technology. We attended the dialogue and reiterated our call for the scraping of experience for entry-level jobs. Young people must never be hindered by experience to get employment. And as we march forward it is our agenda to see 40% representation of youth in position of authority and responsibility, both in the public and private sector.
In the Western Cape, we had an intensive National Youth Service Programme lead by the Deputy Executive Chairperson. This programme continues register a success in skilling our youth, with a 20 years’ partnership with the Flemish government. A detailed report on various work undertaken by NYDA Branches will be accessible across our social media.
The youth of the Eastern Cape must note that the NYDA has in the Youth Month signed MOUs with four district munipalities with the aim of opening branhes before the ned of the 2018/2019 financial year. We have signed with the Alfred Nzo, Sarah Baartman, OR Tambo and Joe Gqabi District Municipality. The Department of Social Development, Department of Transport and the Department of Public Works have also indicated that they will be entering into partnership with the NYDA.
We are glad that government is seeing the importance of entering into partnerships with the only youth development agency in our country mandated to mainstream youth affairs across all sectors of society. Ours is to continue to express our desire to see the private sector doing more for young people. Youth Development is Everyone’s Business.
·        BRICS Youth Summit
We continue to engage on necessary dialogues to confront the future. Youth Month saw us deliberate our support and preparation to host the 4th BRICS Youth Summit. This is in line with the 10th BRICS Summit hosted by South Africa under the theme “BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for the Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The Youth Summit will provide a platform for young people to engage on how the youth can benefit from this strategic partnership, reflect on previous summits and provide solutions to the future. These proposals will be tabled at the main summit.
·        Provision of Free School Uniform and Sanitary Towels
The dignity of an African child remains in question from the day they arrive at school. Thus it is important to start youth development where it should at an early stage of a child’s life. We appreciate the call by the President to prioritise infrastructure development at our schools. In support of this call we wish to add that because education is an apex priority, government must provide school uniform for free from Grade 1 until last grade. This call goes hand in glove with our call for provision of free sanitary towels to all school going children.
The sacrifices made by our Father of the Nation must translate into the successes of young people on the ground. Young people must draw inspiration from the endurance of our freedom fighters for their continued determination in dismantling the brutal system of apartheid. The courage displayed by Mama Albertina Sisulu must live in all of us.
As we officially close Youth Month 2018, we commit to do more and ensure that every day is a day to celebrate the youth. To the youth of the country youth development is our passion and we shall never rest until all young people are economically free. Let’s join hands in the path towards our own economic emancipation for nothing will give if we continue to become spectator of the game we have to be playing.
In the words of President Ramaphosa “The challenges that our youth face are great, but they are not insurmountable”
We shall overcome!
I thank you.