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Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the NARYSEC Pass-out Parade, Military Base Dunnottar, Nigel

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Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chaplain-General of the SANDF, Brigadier Gen Ernest Masweu,
Director-General of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mr Mooketsa Ramasodi,
NARYSEC graduates,
Sanibonani. Dumelang. Goeie môre. Molweni. Kgotsong. Lotjhani. Ndi matsheloni. Nhlekanhi.
Today is a great day. 
It is a great day for our graduates and their families, and for the communities that they come from and that they will be returning to serve.
As we celebrate Nelson Mandela Month, we recallMadiba’s words that:
“It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.”
Being of service and playing one’s part in building the South Africa we all want is what the National Rural Youth Services Corps is all about.
When we talk about building we are not just referring to work or to bricks and mortar.
We are also talking about inculcating a culture of duty and civic responsibility.
We are talking about building a better nation, where all South Africans play their part in making our communities better and of a society where no-one is left behind.
It is you, the young people, who are the builders of our nation. It is you who possess the talents, the energies and the enthusiasm that will take us forward.
Throughout our journey to democracy it was young people at the forefront of progress and change.
That is why our focus as Government is on empowering young people.
Our focus is on providing young people with the skills they need to look for and get work, or to start their own businesses.
We want to see our young people contributing towards building vibrant economies across the country, especially in rural areas.
Our vision is for this to be aligned with the District Development Model and the One Plan for each of the country’s districts.
When we say we must leave no-one behind, we mean that every young person in this country must be given a fair opportunity, regardless of where they live, where they went to school or how little they have.
By this we include the young people of Qunu, Madiba’s birthplace; of Fort Beaufort, the home of Charlotte Maxeke; of Mamelodi, the home of Solomon Mahlangu; of Mankweng, the birthplace of Peter Mokaba; of Groutville, where Inkosi Albert Luthuli lived as a young man; and of every rural community across the country.
Through initiatives like NARYSEC, we are affirming that rural youth have the same potential and energies as young people who live in cities and metros.
At the same time we know that particular challenges exist in rural areas.
Unemployment amongst rural youth is higher. 
There are less factories, industries and businesses in rural areas. As a result there is less economic activity than in metros and urban areas. 
Access to tertiary education in rural areas, though it is improving, is still limited.
As a result, young people in search of opportunity are migrating away from rural areas to the cities. 
This affects development in rural areas.
Through NARYSEC we have been working to change this. 
This programme has existed since 2010. Our aim is to continue to scale it up so it reaches more unemployed rural youth.
By feeding into the District Development Model, NARYSEC graduates can contribute to making rural areas centres of economic activity. They can contribute to make rural areas sources of job creation, self-employment and entrepreneurship, and models of excellence when it comes to the delivery of services.
There is a reason you are called the National Rural Youth Service Corps. 
We see you as a division, much like in an army, that is acting and working together towards achieving a common objective: national reconstruction.
The young people graduating today from the Youth Leadership Development Programme have received training from the Department of Defence in partnership with the National School of Government, National Youth Development Agency and Road Traffic Management Corporation.
They were recruited from various districts and local municipalities across the nine provinces through an open and transparent process.
Their training has included practical skills in various sectors. These include agriculture, forestry and fisheries, construction and engineering, energy, health, safety and security, IT, transport and road management and others. 
These are all economic sectors in which we want to see more youth participation.
Importantly, this training has included community and leadership development and civic education.
Youth must be at the forefront of bringing development to rural communities. It is our responsibility to provide them with the knowledge, skills and experience that will enable them to play their part in bettering their communities.
To all graduates: you have done your families, your communities and your nation proud.
Well done for persevering and for not giving up even when the going got tough. 
You have shown commitment to your personal development and taken charge of your own destiny.
You will now return to your provinces and hopefully continue with developing your skills at TVET colleges, agricultural colleges and other institutions of higher learning.
You have been given the tools. Now it is up to you to use them to better your own lives and to bring about change in your communities.
Use what you have learned to work with Government and other social partners to alleviate poverty, unemployment, inequality and underdevelopment.
I want to invite businesses and other bodies to support rural economic development by hiring our graduates and assisting them to start their own businesses.
We can only overcome the challenge of youth unemployment if we work together.
Let us build better, stronger, safer rural communities. Let us leave no-one behind.
I thank you.