Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, has voiced the government’s concerns over the country’s economic growth rate, saying the youth are among those being negatively affected.
He was speaking as the country commemorates Youth Day. Mashatile gave a virtual keynote address on Friday.
“We remain concerned that the economy is not expanding at the rate that permits the economic development of a large number of people, especially the youth. It is for this reason that we are committing to accelerate the youth economic emancipation for a sustainable future. In addition to existing government programmes of supporting entrepreneurs, we are providing young entrepreneurs with access to both financial and non-financial business development support to enable them to establish and grow their own businesses.”
Mashatile has called on young people to draw inspiration from the youth of the past, who fought against social injustices.
“Today’s youth must draw inspiration from the youth of the past who also demonstrated the magnitude and power of young people when they are united to combat social injustices. Today, we remember where we came from as a nation and recommit ourselves to never returning to the SA of the past. Together, with the youth of this country, we are steaming ahead to build the country of our dreams.”
Calls on youth to work with govt
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says government and the youth need to work together to help tackle South Africa’s challenges. He was speaking as the country commemorates Youth Day.
“We need all of us, the young people and all stakeholders, to play a role for the economy to grow, [and] to deal with crime and all these challenges. So that we are able, as a nation, to respond. Even the Constitution envisages a situation where the government facilitates a platform which enables all the youth and people of SA to thrive.”
Today marks 47 years since the 1976 uprising which saw student protests over the use of Afrikaans as the language of instruction in schools.
‘Claims govt failed youth are false’
Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and People with disabilities, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has disputed claims that Government has failed the youth in the country.
She says it was the democratic Government that heard the cries of young people for free education during the Fees Must Fall Movement that started in 2015.
Dlamini-Zuma says claims that allegations that the youth have been forgotten are false.
‘This government has made free education for young people even up to tertiary for poor people and for working-class people. It’s free. during those days you wouldn’t go to these universities like UCT, Wits… Today we can. Young people must take opportunities that exist, they must inform themselves, they must be organised. The exhibitions, there are lots of opportunities so to say they are forgotten is far from the truth.”