North West Provincial Government urge young people to unite in tackling challenges confronting youth
1 Jul 2012
The North West Provincial Government has called on the youth of its province to unite and fight against today's challenges like the youth of 1976.
Delivering the Keynote speech on behalf of Premier Mme Thandi Modise, MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Motlalepula Rhoso urged young people to draw inspiration from the 1976 youth to ensure that their collective ‘voice’ shapes the future of South Africa.
“Today’s youth should continue to have their collective ‘voice’ heard on democratic governance and social change issues in order to bring about a better life for all. High levels of unemployment and poverty among the youth of the North West Province is a cause for concern,” she told hundreds of young people who braved the cold winter to attend the Provincial Youth month celebration and closing event held at Greater Taung sports ground on Saturday.
While the 1976 generation had a common enemy in the evil apartheid system, MEC Rhoso said today's generation is faced with a totally different type of enemy. She said unemployment, poverty, inequality HIV and Aids, drugs and substance abuse are the main challenges facing the youth of today. As part of creating job opportunities for young people, MEC Rhoso told young people that the provincial government has partnered the Ubuntu Institute and the DBSA Job fund for the roll-out of the International job placement programme that was launched on the 21 June 2012.
Two hundred young people from the province will be selected to participate in his programme which includes a 12 month placement within the major international hotels in the USA, UK and China. The number of recruits are to be increased over a three year period to reach the 5 000 that are targeted to participation countrywide.
“The partnership with the private sector and the tourism and hospitality sector will ensure that on their return young people are adequately prepared for meaningful employment . This first batch of recruits is scheduled to leave the for overseas in September 2012 and return in August 2013,”she explained.
MEC Rhoso mentioned that the province has agreed with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) Job fund that four young people will be identified and deployed full time to at the DBSA job fund with effect from August 2012 and that this young people will be trained and mentored by the DBSA to ensure that the Province can access the R1 billion of the R9 billion Job fund.
She added that the Office of the Premier through the youth support program will work with the National Youth Development Agency, the North West Youth Development Trust and the 23 municipalities including the Economic infrastructure Development cluster at provincial level to identify the four young people and bankable projects. “The Office of the Premier is working with cabinet to ensure that the recapitalisation and commercialisation of key state owned economic and infrastructure assets is priorities and concluded in the next coming two years.
We will work with our partners within the mining, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sector to ensure that our public entities and public state own enterprises are mainstreamed towards addressing youth unemployment and poverty,” she said. Furthermore, MEC Rhoso said that the province will work with the national government and in particular Transnet, IDC, DBSA and PRASA in growing the economy of the province.
She told young people that the province is planning to host later this year an Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Transport, Tourism and Infrastructure summit to mobilise the investment in these their key economic sectors. She added that investment will primarily focus on the key priorities of province which is water, energy, sanitation and transport. Papiki Babuile of NYDA also encouraged young people to stand up firmly and fight the challenges that young people face in their lives today.
“As young people today we need to set our goals and understand them. Our past freedom fighters did their part by ensuring that they get rid of apartheid regime and it is our responsibility as young people to face head-on the challenges of unemployment and substance abuse,” he said. While some young people at the event acknowledged part of the achievement of government and the efforts to create opportunities for them, they also expressed concerned about their challenges especially unemployment.
Thabo Mogapi, 22, unemployed young man from Lokaleng village said youth month celebration presents for him opportunities to create a better live for his community. He said even though government tries very hard to create opportunities for young people, access to higher education still remain a challenge problem. Mogapi said even though he is still struggling to get funding for his tertiary studies, he will not give up looking for other better opportunities for himself because there are many other opportunities.
"We can praise our past freedom fighters today but if you are not taking advantage of the opportunities granted by our democracy, then their efforts to fight for a better future would be wasted," he added also encouraging fellow youth to stand up and define their future.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
Tel: 018 388 3705
Cell: 083 629 1987
Issued by: North West Provincial Government
1 Jul 2012
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