Statement of the National Youth Development Agency following meeting with the Pan African Youth Union, South African Youth Council and the African Diaspora Forum amidst recent attacks on foreign nationals
The Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Mr. Sifiso Mtsweni has today, 11 September 2019 met the leadership of the South African Youth Council (SAYC), Pan African Youth Union (PYU) and the African Diaspora Forum. Meeting followed recent violent attacks on foreign nationals across South Africa with the aim of finding a youthful voice and deliberate solutions on the impasse.
The NYDA is a primary institution responsible for youth development affairs in South Africa and has a mammoth task of implementing amongst others the National Youth Policy (2020) which finds its existence within the African Youth Charter (2006). Thus in executing its mandate the agency is empowered by the NYDA Act 54 0f 2008 to engage various sectors of society on matters affecting development of young people.
Mr. Mtsweni reiterated the position of government that "South Africa is not a xenophobic nation". In his opening remarks maintained that "social upheavals are because of societal-ills leading to inequality, unemployment and poverty, but in no way a justification of escalating violence against foreign nationals".
Acting Secretary General of PYU, Mr. Benin Ahmed said that, "State institutions in Africa should address acts of criminality by way of law and not a spontaneous reaction resulting from actions by civilians. Crime has no nationality".
"The African Diaspora will in partnership with relevant stakeholders continue to initiate dialogues and youth-focused programmes aimed at assisting the social-cohesion project across Africa"
SAYC President, Mr Thembinkosi Josopu urged "South Africans to maintain a high-morale standard and deal with the phenomenon of South African exceptionalism and negative treatment towards foreign nationals".
The meeting resolved on developing a programme of action to swiftly address issues that continuously affect South Africans and foreign nationals.
"Young people are the most users of social media and therefore susceptible to sharing fake news. We call on all young people to be responsible distributors of helpful information, they must at all times verify information they receive before circulating" added Mtsweni
Issued by: National Youth Development Agency