19 June 2019

South Africa: Chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni - Presidential Youth Dialogue

press release

Opening remarks by Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Mr Sifiso Mtsweni at the occasion on the Presidential Youth Dialogue, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa; Cape Town.

His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Members of Parliament of the Republic of South Africa,

Chief Executive Officer of the NYDA, Mr Waseem Carrim,

Distinguished guests and Panellists,

Youth of South Africa,

Good afternoon

We gather following a horrific passing of 24 young people in the roads of Limpopo. A painful reminder of the young lives we continue to lose daily due to road accidents. I take this time to send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to families and friends and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. As Benjamin Disraeli once said "The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of posterity"; death has indeed robbed us.

His Excellency, President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa, a few days ago we celebrated 43 years of heroic deeds by the generation of 1976. A generation that declared FREEDOM NOW! EDUCATION LATER! We are proud to stand on the shoulders of such giants. However, we are a generation that is confronting a new struggle as correctly put when you addressed youth day commemorations and said Mr President, "struggle for economic freedom, for access to land and also education".

The dialogue carries a mammoth task as it takes place ahead of the State of the Nation Address. Young men and women are afforded a chance to directly talk unto their hopes and aspirations. They have a responsibility to speak to life the fact that world population is expected to increase rapidly with prospects of world's population reaching 9.6 billion by 2050.

Honourable President, the young people gathered here are delighted to have an opportunity to exchange views on the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the prospects and threats to the future of work and how government plans to grow the economy through an inclusive economy with the youth at the epicentre of the country's' trajectory.

Many young entrepreneurs have joined this session to ask for the removal of unnecessary red tapes, unemployed graduates are also here to ascertain the promise made by your good self-Mr President that " We are on a mission to support young people entering the labour market, by growing new and future jobs, and by giving them the opportunities to serve their communities and contribute to the growth of our economy."

The New Dawn's promise to work with social partners, organized Labour, business and civil society to solve the challenge of youth unemployment in a sustainable manner is welcomed. Young people living with disabilities are also here to deposit ideas on how government can develop an all-encompassing approach to youth development affairs. We will use this session to amongst others try reflecting on the 10 years of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), its successes and challenges. I am delighted to mention that in our midst we are joined by winners of the South African Youth Awards and Ambassadors of the National Development Plan (2030).

Busani Ngcaweni argues that "Youth development is arguable the next and biggest frontier of responsive and evidence -based public policy making of the 6th administration". His Excellency, I agree with him and think that this all-important meeting will truly provide a basis for future regular engagements with young people across various formations and sectors, especially young graduates and entrepreneurs.

We hope that all panellists will assist the discourse by providing critical ideas and allow for robust engagements with other your people. I officially welcome everyone and declare the NYDA Presidential Youth Dialogue officially open.

Thank you!

Issued by: National Youth Development Agency

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