16 June 2019

South Africa: Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane - National Youth Day Commemoration

press release

Speech by Minister in the Presidency Responsible For Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on the Commemoration of the National Youth Day Event at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, Limpopo

President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa

Deputy President, Mr David Mabuza,

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa,

All Ministers and Deputy Ministers present,

Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize,

Premier of Limpopo, Mr Stan Mathabatha,

MEC for Sports Arts and Culture, Limpopo, Ms Thandi Moraka and all MEC's present,

Executive Mayor of Capricorn District Municipality, Cllr John Mpe,

Mayor of Polokwane and President of SALGA, Ms Thembi Nkadimeng,

Executive Mayors, Mayors and Councillors,

Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni,

Commission on Gender equality and All chapter 9 Institutions,

Our VIP's, Young Leaders of tomorrow ,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed an honour to be here in my home province, Limpopo, as we celebrate and commemorate Youth Day in this 25 years of our democracy and on the dawn of a 6th Administration.

25 years is how old our democracy is however the liberation struggle is on-going from the time 1976 generation embraced the responsibility to lead from the front to bring change in our society.

President, Let me thank you for choosing Limpopo for the Youth celebrations this year... because Mr President in the 1970's and also in 1976, the youth of this province too heeded to the call of youth activism.

The Young Lions of this province, also led from the front sacrificed their lives for the liberation of our people.

I stand here in honour and salute the likes of Bo Peter Mokaba, Andrew Mehlape, Lawrence Phokanoka, Frans Mohlala, Daisy Sebati, Thembi Skhosana,Lillian Ngoyi, Charlotte Maxeke Mannya and many others, of this province , who along with the Soweto youth took to the streets and as they were in the pursuit for freedom to free our people from the shackles of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Young women and young men side by side together as comrades running the race to fight colonisation.

President Ramaphosa, ours was a colonisation of a special type. Today, we face a challenge of educated youth who are unemployed which then requires us to do things differently to make an impact.

The issue of youth unemployment has to be addressed radically, urgently for the stability of our country.

The new established Department of Women, Youth and persons with disabilities will prioritise to strengthen the institutional machinery and mechanism to advance the mainstreaming of gender, youth and persons with disabilities in both public and private sector.

(Key to this is the implementation of the HOD -8 principles in line with the Women empowerment policy of 2000, to be part of the performance agreements of the DGs especially at the dawn of this new administration.)

This will go a long way in ensuring that gender responsive budgeting is implemented to advance the economic empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities.

As the government under a new dawn we are forming a social compact with the youth across this country. Government cannot achieve the goals of a poverty-free nation by 2030. We need to work with youth and we need youth entrepreneurs.

This year we celebrate 10 Years since the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency.

As we mark the 43rd commemoration of the 1976 Soweto Uprising we call on all youth to pave a new path of defiance that echoes across South Africa and demonstrates the power of inter-generational activism.

We have much to remember:

65 years since the development of the Women's Charter,

40th commemoration of the hanging of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu,

and 2019 is a year that marks 25 years since the dawn of the democratic dispensation in South Africa,

as well as 10 years since the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

We will further maximise the active participation of young people in decision making structures of public engagement, in government, civil and political organisations. Nothing for youth without youth.

Government is fully aware of the challenges the youth of this country face.

Two of the biggest challenges facing the youth is access to tertiary education and unemployment.

As our caring government navigates through a tough global economic recession, we remain committed to ensuring free tertiary education for deserving students. Our mission is to ensure that youth succeed through the system.

Just last week Mr President announced the newly formed Department of Employment and Labour.

This department will not only ensure fair labour practises are being met, but will also engage with industry to support initiatives to grow jobs thereby opening up thousands of new jobs to youth through clear recognition of both academic and skills development to maximise entrepreneurship and innovation versus job seeking.

There exists an opportunity within new mandate of the Department of Women Youth and People with Disabilities (DWYPD) to bring together the collective obligations of these milestones to better assess how as a nation we have improved the lives of Youth, and in particular young women, and youth with disabilities.

In the Spirit of Thuma Mina-Khawuleza ,we will not only talk but act ,walk the talk by fast tracking our pace to improve the lives of our youth.

In the Words of Anton Lembede, Founding President of the ANC Youth League, who died at youthful age of 33, igniting youth activism in 1944, said I quote "The Hour of Youth has Struck", we reiterate the same today. The Hour of Youth has struck.

With these remarks, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to now call the President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa to address the nation

Halala President Ramaphosa Halala!

Issued by: Department of Women

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