South Africa: Government Celebrates Youth Activism to Advance Youth Development

press release

Government has declared the month of June as #YouthMonth, it is a period set aside to pay tribute to the youth of 1976 for their activism. It is also a time to reflect on the progress made and address the challenges identified in order to drive the youth development agenda in South Africa.

This year #YouthMonth coincides with the commemoration of 25 years of Freedom and Democracy and it takes place under the theme "25 Years of Democracy: A Celebration of Youth Activism". The theme seeks to encourage young people to join the ranks of active and responsible citizens by participating in democratic processes.

The 2019 National Youth Day event will be celebrated on 16 June at Peter Mokaba Cricket Pitch in Polokwane, Limpopo Province. On the same day, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will be celebrating 10 years since establishment in 2009.

Government remains committed to advancing the youth agenda and recognises the importance of youth activism in driving economic growth. Government has re-affirmed the commitment to deal with challenges of youth by establishing the new Ministry in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

Notable progress has also been made in the past 25 years ,which includes amongst others, the scrapping of the need for work experience for entry level jobs in the effort to alleviate the crisis of unemployment in the country.

Government have also increased the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) budget from R70 million in 1994 to nearly R15 billion in 2018. This year, over R900 million has been set aside to settle the debts of continuing NSFAS-funded students.

"As we mark the beginning of the new administration, we wish to applaud young people for the commitment, passion and enthusiasm they have demonstrated through activism. In the past five years, we saw young people in the forefront of addressing issues such as access to higher education, zero rating of sanitary towels and scrapping of experience required for entry level jobs amongst others.

"We encourage young people to continue in the spirit of Thuma Mina and play their part to take forward the issue of youth development and make South Africa a progressive place to live in" said GCIS Acting Director-General, Phumla Williams.

During this month of youth, government and its agencies such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will host a number of engagements, including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneur hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people. A list of Youth Day build-up events can be accessed on https://bit.ly/2WPUeGJ

Follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #YouthMonth #YouthMonth2019 #TheYearOfTheYouth #NYDAturns10.

Issued by: Government Communications

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