Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Youth Day Speech

Speech by the Premier of the Northern Cape Ms Hazel Jenkins at the occasion of the celebrations of the South African Youth day, Galeshewe
Programme Director
Distinguished Guests
All youth Formations
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are gathered here to remember and salute the brave and courageous youth cadres who where at the forefront of the struggle for liberation on June 16 1976.
They did not flinch in the face of the brutal and violent repressive apartheid regime, but where determined and willing to risk and sacrificed their young lives to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of freedom and democrcay.
The ideals for which they live and died for should serve as a great source of inspiration to all the youth of our country especially the Province
We commend them for the invaluable contribution which they have made in the struggle to free our country from oppression and white domination, which put us on the correct path to building a non racial, non sexist and Democratic South Africa.

Air Max

Programme Director,
Like the rest of the country, the Northern Cape has a very high youth population. This compels us to pay particular attention as government to the needs of the youth. Since our liberation in 1994, we have been mainstreaming youth development initiatives across government departments and municipalities throughout the province.
Democracy and freedom brought many opportunities for the youth .The National Youth Service Programme is a platform for further economic and social participation of the youth in reconstruction and development. Expanded Public Works Programme, Community Development Workers initiative and learnerships are some of the opportunities for young people to take part in socio-economic activities.
The EPWP programme offers an opportunity for young people to become creators of their own jobs and to learn new skills and patriotic values while at the same time contributing to the well-being of their communities.
We have also taken measures to increase access to information for the majority of young people living in the outskirts of the province to access information on careers, employment, and on how to start up a business.
The internship, learnership, and bursary scheme programmes have also succeeded a great deal in skilling young people and drawing significant numbers of unemployed graduates into the world of work.
Once again, we call on the private sector to strengthen their practical contribution towards youth development by embarking on public-private partnerships wherever possible.
The opportunities which young people now have can only be sustained and extended if all sectors of society can join hands to support youth development
Programme Director,
Despite the commendable efforts by government and other strategic partners over the past fifteen years, the relative insufficiency to integrate young people as strategic partners in national development process remains a major concern.
If we accept that participation is the very essence of development, then conscious efforts on the part of government to constructively engage and mainstream young people must become a central plank of national development strategies
Young people continue to be faced by the following challenges of development:
? Unemployment
? Poverty
? health and HIV/AIDS,
? crime and violence,
? access to quality education
? Gender bias and discrimination,
? lack of access to jobs and entrepreneurial skills.
We also cannot ignore the role which alcohol and drug abuse play in this phenomenon. Young men and women under the age of 18 continue to frequent shebeens and taverns as if this is the most normal thing to do.
Teenage pregnancy continues to remain one of the critical challenges facing young female learners and this need to be addressed.
It is this struggle that should now challenge the youth, in all their formations, to wake up everyday and begin every single day with more determination than ever before to make a mark in this new struggle.
The President of the Republic of South Africa Mr. Jacob Zuma is also Launching the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) today, which is formed through the merger of Umsobomvu Youth Fund and the National Youth Commission.
These institutions are being merged to enhance service and development opportunities provided to the youth.
In the word’s of the President” The Agency will link up unemployed young graduates with economic opportunities; strengthen efforts to expand the National Youth Service Programme and support young entrepreneurs.”
After the formal launch of the Agency, the process will be rolled out to provinces to implement the National directive. As the Province we are ready and will speedily manage this process to ensure that our youth benefit from these massive services and opportunities.
The National Youth Development Agency acknowledges that youth development is central in the reconstruction and development of South Africa. It will also enable government to take reasonable measures within its available resources, to achieve progressive development of the youth of our country. It will also ensure that the interventions on youth development are implemented in a cohesive and integrated manner.
Programme Director,
The challenge to the youth of today is to emulate the revolutionary and exemplary role of the youth of 1976 and assume its rightful role in the development of our society. We must continue to organize and mobilise our youth to advance the struggle against poverty and unemployment.
The youth ought to be at the vanguard of the popular movement towards our programme of renewal and demonstrate their commitment in education, in health, in addressing unemployment and in skills development.
Our commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS has never been greater. We must double our efforts as a country to ensure that all our interventions yield the required results. It is not enough to simply shout from the rooftops and broadcast the message to abstain, but we must all roll up our sleeves and volunteer in our communities to educate others and provide home based care to those who have succumbed.

Similarly, education remains at the core of our efforts to build a generation of youth that will lead the country with diligence and take it to new heights.

It must never elude us that today’s youth represents tomorrow’s leaders and our failure to adequately prepare them for the responsibilities of tomorrow will only propel the country to a downward spiral and a bleak future.
Let us all rise and be the architect of our own destination.

I thank you

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