Presidency Budget Vote Speech 2012 by the Deputy Minister, Honourable Obed Bapela
30 May 2012
His Excellency Honourable President, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma;
Honourable Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, Honourable Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane;
Honourable Minister for National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel;
BrandSA Chairperson Ms Chichi Maponya and Chief Executive Mr Miller Matola;
Chief Executive of NYDA, Mr Steven Ngubeni (in absentia) however represented in the public gallery;
Ladies and gentlemen.
I am honoured to take the platform to contribute to the Presidency budget submission of the year 2012/13.
This budget submission comes on the backdrop of difficult economic conditions that should shape how we think, how we plan as well as how we should utilise our resources.
Countries in the world continuously compete for investor’s attention by projecting stability, opportunities and a far-sighted and strategic leadership. We therefore need to mobilise all social actors as we as a country are not exonerated from social pressures due to some of the external factors and continues to experience the triple-evils of poverty, unemployment and inequality, mostly affecting the youth of the country.
Prior to the dawn of democracy in South Africa, through the historic 27 April1994 democratic break-through, issues of youth development were never really prioritised or institutionalised. As a result, the majority of the youth population are living with a tormenting fear of a bleak future. It is widely agreed that youth development issues cannot be left mainly to civil society and youth organisations alone, but they should always find expression within government structures, the legislation, policies, strategies and programmes.
It is evident that the key factors that define the welfare of young people in our own country range from education and skills development, youth access to economic participation and access to job opportunities. The youth of this country is no different from the rest of the youth in the world, they are continuously faced with challenges that include extreme youth poverty, lack or limited participation in activities that improve their well-being as young people, gender inequality and marginalisation.
We are also deeply concerned about the rise in unemployment and underemployment in Africa, particularly among the youth and the serious threat they pose to social cohesion, political stability and the future socio-economic development prospects in our various countries.
The United Nation (UN) had resolved in 2011 that there is a need to foster co-operation among young people and educate them about the ideals of peace, freedom, justice, tolerance, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, patriotism, solidarity and dedication to the objectives of progress and development.
The late former President of Mozambique, Samora Machel, is quoted as having said “Youth is the best time to be rich, the best time to be poor”, nothing closer to the truth. According to African youth report of 2012, trends in the African youth population will generally remain higher than in other world regions by 2025, and this youth bulge needs new strategies, new investments on youth, new ways of looking at the matter and finally it needs innovative response by the African leadership.
The large youth population in Africa should be seen as an asset and not a liability for the continent’s development if appropriate human capital investment measures are taken. South Africa has an opportunity to provide leadership and to ensure it is a matter of focus in the African Union (AU). Africa is faced with cyclical phenomena of nature, known as youth bulge, something that happened in the 1960s in the Western countries and was known as the baby boom. Today, they have an ageing population and so in the next 50 years, Africa we will also face an aging population.
President and Deputy President,
In South Africa young people constitute the majority of the unemployed with no less that 70% remaining job seekers.
According to the National Treasury strategy document on confronting youth development, unemployed people tend to be less skilled and inexperienced with almost 80% having no formal further or tertiary education, while two thirds have never worked. This gives a view of the urgency of the need to attend to the youth unemployment challenge.
It would however be ill-conceived to seek to suggest that nothing is being done. South Africa as well as the SADC countries has demonstrated great commitment towards the advancement of the youth development agenda. This is also confirmed by us as a country with the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) through an Act of Parliament, Act no. 58 of 2008.
Following the advent of democracy in 1994, the new democratic government declared June 16 a national holiday, Youth Day, the whole month of June is dedicated to youth issues, in honour of the contribution of the youth in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa. In June of 2012 the country will celebrate and honour the martyrs of the 1976 generation not as a meaningless ceremony but a tribute and a reflection of we have gone in realizing the ideals of this gallant generation.
While the youth of 1976 fought for freedom and the creation of a democratic state, today’s youth activism is directed towards successfully tackling the challenges of combating poverty, unemployment, HIV and AIDS, personal development; economic freedom and the development of their country amongst others. This is encapsulated in the mandate of the NYDA whose responsibility, among others, is to initiate, design, coordinate, evaluate & monitor programmes aimed at integrating the youth into the economy and society in general.
Since its establishment, the NYDA has worked to build a world class youth development agency that adheres to good corporate governance principles. As a result, the NYDA has received an unqualified audit report in two consecutive years by the Auditor-General, something that other Departments are still struggling to achieve. We also pay tribute and convey our appreciation to the first NYDA Board of Directors whose term has ended. These are the men and women, who laid the foundation for what we now call NYDA:
- In three years of the NYDA’s existence their delivery record has been improving significantly leading to the organisation achieving 42 out of the 49 key performance indicators in the 2010/11 financial year thus scoring an 85% achievement. Of the 42 targets met, some were greatly exceeded and the seven that were not met were behind with only a few points.
- NYDA has a national footprint in all nine provinces and 281 municipalities.
- NYDA has supported over 5000 young entrepreneurs with business development consultancy services vouchers,
- Provided 49,341 young people with entrepreneurship training over the past two financial years.
- Over R60, 4 million worth of loans were disbursed to young entrepreneurs.
- Ithubalentsha Micro Enterprise Programme, started recently this year in February, to prepare entrepreneurs with skills to run business before they can loan/grant you money to capitalise or start their business.
- Education and Skills Development programme, NYDA enrolled 2,039 learners on the Matric rewrite project,
- Provided career guidance and job preparedness training to over 446,588 and 17, 258 young people respectively.
- The National Youth Service Programme (NYS) has enrolled over 80,000 young people to serve their communities.
Some major priorities and programmes for 2012/13 Financial Year:
- As part of Economic Participation programme; The NYDA will implement 8 key programmes and two special programmes aimed at improving economic participation of the youth. 20,000 young entrepreneurs will be given technical and business support.
- R30 million worth of funding accessed through Economic Development Programmes, with the creation of 800 jobs.
In addition, the following special programmes will be implemented:
- Ithubalentsha programme
- The Green Economy Project
- Education and Skills Development
- Lastly the NYDA will ensure that funds are raised with other partners geared towards supporting the implementation of NYDA activities: R50 million worth of funds will be raised through national youth fund.
Speaker, President and Deputy President
A question should no longer arise on the achievements of NYDA, as it has delivered on its mandate, continues to do so, but due to lack of adequate resources, that they were unable to reach a bigger portion of our youth population. Maybe the question should be, how much are we investing as a nation to the development of the bulging youth as a country.
Since the merging of the Youth Commission and Umsobomvu, the two organisations used to get a combined budget from National Fiscal of R1.1 billion per financial year, e.g. Youth Commission was receiving R600m and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund was getting R500m. However, when the two were merged the funding allocation was reduced and just to give an example, in the financial year 2010/11 it was R386m and 2012/13 financial year there is a short fall of R10m.
We are not here asking that all funds towards young people, should be given to NYDA as we are cognisant that other investments are on education, skills development as in Basic Education and Higher Education & Training. The other investment is within mainstreamed programmes of the departments.
I must however, express that after meeting with more than 25 national government departments’ Youth Units, most do not have sustainable developmental programmes on skills development through their internship and learnership programmes, also lack in job creation initiatives and entrepreneurship development of young people.
We will be meeting again in November to assist in the contextualising the National Youth Policy in their plans and take inputs from National Planning Commission and ask the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation to develop measuring tools, monitoring mechanisms and to enable us to assess the outcomes and impact of programmes that are geared towards young people with regular reports to the Cabinet.
Lastly, to engage on programmes that are geared towards young people who are out of school, unemployed and they are in our communities and are just loitering. In Namibia, which I visited recently, there are programmes we can learn from, where they re-orientate those youth by taking them to youth camps to teach them on national building, social cohesion, patriotism, volunteerism and importantly, assess their capabilities and assist them to have a fresh start in life, by offering skills training, on professional, creative and critical kills needed in a prosperous country. They become better individuals, look at life differently and they become assets and not a liability to society.
Speaker, President and Deputy President,
Moving into another subject matter, Brand South Africa.
The country’ success in mobilising necessary resources, investment and partners is also dependent upon the national posture and image we desire to project, preserve and improve. This mammoth task was given as mandate of Brand SA and they are expected ‘to build South Africa’s nation brand reputation and to contribute to the improvement of the country’s global competitiveness’.
In discharging this mandate, Brand SA focuses on both domestic and international initiatives aimed at marketing South Africa to international and domestic target audiences.
Over the past year Brand SA has focused on adding to their focus towards positioning and profiling South Africa as an attractive business destination as well as the marketing of the country to South Africans to build social cohesion and garner support for the nation branding project.
Brand SA's vision is for South Africa to be acknowledged as a top 20 nation brand and a top 30 nation by 2020 in terms of brand reputation and global competitiveness respectively.
Brand SA’s domestic strategic focus is to mobilise active citizenry through its innovative “Play Your Part” campaign. This mass mobilisation campaign is aimed at engaging and motivating all South Africans on an individual and collective basis e.g. business, civil society; media and government to hold hands and contribute towards positive social change in the country.
Through an intense process of consultation and research, Brand SA managed to develop a new pay-off line; "Inspiring New Ways". This is to ensure that the country remains relevant and competitive in this dynamic global environment. This new pay off line carries a message of who we are and what we stand for as South Africans.
On the international front, the Brand SA’s international strategic focus is to positively influence and shape perceptions about South Africa as a key business destination and play a leadership role amongst target audiences. As a proudly African country, SA is committed to working closely with our African peers to develop new ways to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.
In this context, over the past year there was a shift in focus to supporting initiatives on the continent which are consistent with driving our African Agenda. For example support for trade initiatives and state visits to amongst others the following countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique.
Brand SA has partnered with business and civil society in order to leverage the limited resources. This is evidenced through partnership agreements implemented with various partners such as CNN, The New Age, TIME, Media Diversity and Development Agency (MDDA), Financial Times and SA fm. The total value of these partnerships was in excess of R5 million.
Major projects and campaigns planned for 2012/13
For the 2012/13 financial year Brand SA will continue to focus its strategy on the proactive marketing of South Africa as a business destination of choice and to contribute towards social cohesion through its active citizenship campaign. South Africans will be mobilized behind the country’s efforts to be a competitive nation to address the developmental challenges.
Some of the key initiatives to be focused upon in 2012/13 will include:
Brand SA will continue with its programme of leveraging international platforms to drive the message about South Africa and ensure that the country remains competitive. This will include the alignment of our brand throughout all embassies and government departments and working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to implement programmes targeted at a number of peer markets.
In conclusion, the responsibility placed on the NYDA and Brand SA requires appropriate recourses and institutions to assist in preparing this country for a vibrant, innovative and constructive young people. We dare not fail our country, and we dare not fail our young people.
We also call upon the youth, from all racial groups, black and white to embrace, give a thought and reflect during the Youth Month and ask the question, “What am I doing for my country?”
The President has invited the nation to join government in a massive infrastructure development drive. That is a bold effort to transform the economy, laying the basis for growth and job creation. This serves as a catalyst for youth empowerment and development opportunities. Thus the theme and focus for this year Youth Month celebrations is; “Together we can do more, to build infrastructure and fight youth unemployment, poverty and inequality’.
Yesterday during the Youth Month Launch the issue of the Youth Wage Subsidy was raised by representatives of young people. They requested the Presidency to sponsor a youth consultative summit to be organised before the end of the July school holidays under the auspices of the umbrella body South African Youth Council (SAYC) to discuss their different views on the issue, with the intention to find common ground and a united voice.
Honourable Members, it is my pleasure to commend the Budget Vote of the Presidency to the House.
I thank you!
Issued by: The Presidency
30 May 2012
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