Mdantsane – Government is committed to creating an enabling environment for all young South Africans, says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.
“We are firm and unwavering in our conviction that you deserve a better future and we commit to creating an enabling environment for all of you.
“Let me assure you that as government, we are confident that notwithstanding the challenges in the country, you as the progressive youth are more than ready to meet those challenges of our young democracy. Wherever you are – in learning institutions, religious institutions, at work, in the army, in unemployment queues and police services, in sporting bodies, as cultural workers… be assured that we love you all and you shall always remain dearly in our hearts,” she said.
Minister Muthambi was speaking to the youth of Mdantsane and the surrounding areas about the professional opportunities available to young people at entities that report to her department at the Ministerial Imbizo programme in Mdantsane, outside East London.
“I am here today to paint a future of possibilities… I am here to give you hope not promises, I am here to talk to you about the various doors some of which you may need to kick open to ensure that you enter.
“I am here to say to you that this government has the political will to create an enabling environment to ensure the success of all its citizenry,” she said.
Minister Muthambi said her department had a wide range of opportunities in media and communications, finance, HR and supply chain, to mention a few. Every year, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) has a graduate training programme in areas such as IT, HR and finance.
Minister Muthambi spoke to the youth about the country’s economy, which has not been growing at the pace anticipated in the National Development Plan (NDP).
“The issue of our sluggish economic growth is a reality that we must always bear in mind. We are, however, very confident that we have turned the corner. The recent rating by Moody’s, which in fact was a confirmation of their December 2015 position, means contrary to the expectations of the prophets of doom… the country’s economic situation has not deteriorated further.
“We are also very confident that the remaining two rating agencies will not rate the country below investment grade,” she said.
The Minister said holding the Youth Imbizo at Sisa Dukashe Stadium brings sad memories of torture that were carried out by the apartheid regime and its collaborators.
“Holding this event here is in fact very symbolic… It should symbolise that our democracy has defeated the apartheid regime.
“This is not electioneering, but sharing political history that should provide context on how we all should behave. We all have a responsibility not to shame our forebears.
“It is my political duty to provide this important historical context so that as these young people eventually join the public service, they must understand the origins, the ethos and the posture of this government which with their support, we are very confident that it will continue to deliver the much needed services,” she said.
June is celebrated as Youth Month in South Africa, with a specific focus on 16 June, which is also known as Youth Day. Youth Month pays tribute to the school pupils who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 uprising in Soweto.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprisings. The theme for Youth Month is ‘Youth Moving South Africa Forward’.
On 16 June 1976, more than 15 000 students gathered at Orlando West Secondary School with the intention of participating in a peaceful march to the nearby Orlando Stadium.
The demonstration had been planned in protest against the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction at schools.