Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the media
16 June 2011 marks the 35th anniversary of the Soweto and related Uprisings of 1976 and the second anniversary of the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency. It is the month in which young people braved all odds to fight for equal and quality education for all. They understood that this education would inevitably lead to social and economic emancipation of all young people in particular and South Africans in general. As such this month belongs to all youth of this country across the wide range of race and of political spectrum.
This year’s Youth Month programme takes place within the context of government’s declaration of 2011 as the year of job creation. The NYDA has developed a national programme to commemorate the 35th anniversary of that historic day under the theme “Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime.”
This theme is befitting and consistent with the struggles of all young people in South Africa and abroad which is poverty and unemployment. It is consistent with the government’s commitment of meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth towards the total eradication of poverty and towards the development of the South African community. This year’s Youth Month programme therefore seeks to retrace how far we have gone in realising the ideals that the 1976 generation fought and died for.
The theme further seeks to underline the NYDAs and government’s commitment towards the development of young people. This month and beyond, we seek to inspire and call on the youth participation in the national development programme to fight poverty and unemployment. We also seek to create decent work and better living conditions for all South Africans. In this regard young people are called upon to effectively participate in the struggle against unemployment and work side by side with government, through the NYDA. Lastly and most importantly the programme will communicate the NYDA and government’s achievements towards the development of youth, job creation and economic participation.
When the NYDA was launched by President Jacob Zuma in June 2009, it was with the aim of creating and promoting coordination in youth development matters, in all aspects of society including government. This would include integrating youth to participate in the economy through facilitating access to funding. In light of the variety of issues that pertain to the development of a young person, the NYDA as a custodian of youth development has a responsibility to facilitate the rollout of the National Youth Service, undertake policy, research and development and provide youth advisory and information services.
Since its establishment the NYDA has made various strides in a number of areas including plans to fight poverty through broadening youth economic participation, youth skills development programmes, and the promotion of youth civic participation. This includes promoting social cohesion and the culture of volunteerism that was an integral part in the fight for democracy.
As a result, there are tangable outcomes that point to testimony of young people who have interacted and received support from the NYDA in various aspects, and in all provinces.
The NYDA has facilitated youth access to business funding to the value of R64, 4 million. The business funding has been issued to youth owned enterprises, supporting 31 000 young entrepreneurs with business loan finance. In addition, 5 277 young entrepreneurs were issued with business consultancy services vouchers to help them access services such as business plans, company registrations and marketing plans.
As part of its contribution to job creation, over the past two years the NYDA sustained close to 60, 000 jobs through various initiatives including the Enterprise Finance and Business Development Services programmes. Over 11, 000 young people were linked to job opportunities through the NYDA Jobs and Opportunities Seekers Database.
The NYDA continues to undertake various initiatives in its drive to increase and promote entrepreneurial activity among young people. To bear testimony this work, two young women, Puseletso Modimogale and Katlego Assis, owners of Therapeutic Touch Studio are proud winners of R1 million rand cash prize from an SABC 1 reality TV show Rize Mzansi, supported by the NYDA through provision of entrepreneurship development content and funds. As a result of this support from the NYDA, Therapeutic Touch Studio which is a spa and wellness services company, has been able to sustain its business through the economic downturn and they are set to expand their business beyond Gauteng.
At the tender age of twenty-five, another young person Ntokozo Kenneth Ngcobo managed to achieve what some only dream about. He owns and manages Mlazi Close Cooperation, an electrical design and installation company, which boasts clients such as Eskom and government departments. In February 2011 Ntokozo acquired a
R36, 000 business loan from the NYDA, he used the business loan to buy software that he uses to design electrical solutions. Today he employs two permanent staff and plans to expand his business to the rest of the country. When asked about his future plans he said “Currently we only operate in my hometown, Pietermaritzburg, so in the next five years I’ll be working towards ensuring that we break into new markets.”
Rethabile Mazibuko from Benoni recently graduated amongst the 500 artisans who were part of the NYDA’s Accelerated Artisans and Skills Training Programme. He specialised in computer numerical control programming. Because he understands that unemployment is a major challenge facing South African youth he has decided to pursue self-employment and has since formed a co-operative with six other young people so that they can establish a computer numerical control programming training centre.
These young people and many others who have benefitted from NYDA programmes bear testimony to the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that young people have in South Africa. We believe there is more of this spirit and creativity to be unleashed.
The NYDA has also made great strides in promoting skills development since its inception. About 171, 000 young people including 86, 644 participating in the National Youth Service Programme were trained as part of skills development. Over 18, 000 volunteers were recruited and trained to provide support during the successful 2010 FIFA World Cup. These young volunteers were patriotic and united to serve South Africa with pride.
As part of its interventions in assisting out of school youth, the NYDA has enrolled over 2,000 young people in the National Senior Certificate 2nd chance programme to assist them to acquire matric certificates. Furthermore, a number of disadvantaged schools have been supported with donations of mobile science laboratories to help increase the enrolment and performance of physical science learners.
The NYDA has also expanded over the past two years, increasing its network to 144 access points across all provinces, resulting in increased accessibility to more young people. Most of these have been made possible by the generous support from municipalities who made their infrastructure available. To this end over one million young people have been provided with information through these various NYDA access points. Over 400, 000 have been provided with career guidance.
The NYDA continues to work with other institutions including the Department of International Relations and Co-operation and the Department of Trade and Industry through which they facilitate the participation of young people in international trade delegations and other international opportunities. Working through the Interdepartmental Committee on Youth Affairs the NYDA continues to ensure that all government departments have youth directorates and specific youth initiatives.
As government we mindful that youth development does not only take place during Youth Month, but a service that require all our energies and participation 365 days of the year. As the government of South Africa, through the NYDA, government departments and many of our partners, we will continue to prioritise the development of young people. In the current financial year (2011/2012), the NYDA will focus on the following:
• Continue to increase its access points through out the country by establishing partnerships with municipalities to open new offices.
• Finalise the Integrated Youth Development Strategy to guide the implementation of youth development programmes across all spheres of society.
• Economic participation
- 3,500 youth will be supported with Business Consultancy Vouchers, business opportunities support services, and mentorship.
- 2,500 companies will be registered with CIPRO as part of the NYDA partnership with CIPRO.
- R40 million will be set aside to be accessed by youth owned small and medium enterprises.
- Over 12,900 of jobs will be created through various NYDA programmes ranging from Business Consultancy Vouchers, business opportunities support services, and mentorship programmes
• National Youth Service and Social Cohesion: 50, 000 youth will be enrolled in National Youth Service programme including the National Rural Youth Service
• Education, training and skills development: Over 18,000 youth will be provided with various skills covering critical areas such as business management skills, life skills and job preparedness skills.
• National Youth Fund: The organisation will work in partnership with other stakeholder to raise over R90 million which will go into the National Youth Fund.
As we commemorate Youth Month let us be reminded that more remains to be done. All sectors of society must be committed to the course of youth economic development to ensure that the struggle of the 1976 generation was not in vain, but one through which we are all able to realise the true meaning of freedom and democracy.
Issued by: The Presidency