Hundreds of young people in Mpumalanga gathered at Elukwatini near Mañzana to celebrate Youth Day. Many of the young people are calling on government to create job opportunities.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says young people must use the opportunities that government is creating for them. Elukwatini is a remote area with a high unemployment rate.
Most of the communities in the area rely on farming to survive. Many young people who have completed school have opted to work in retail shops in the area, which is their only source of employment.
The area lacks companies that can invest in massive projects to benefit the poor. As young people celebrate Youth Day, they have called on government to create job opportunities.
The Provincial government has urged young people to approach government institutions with their ideas, which will enable them to create employment. The African National Congress Youth League Deputy President, Desmond Moela, says youth are still struggling to participate in the economy.
“The challenge that we are faced with are unemployment, inequality and poverty, so this are the current challenges that we are faced with as the youth of Mpumalanga and we are planning as government, in particular the youth directorate in the office of the premier, to meet young people half way in those challenges that we are faced with like issues of skills, issues of education, these are issues that we think we must tackle head on as the government of Mpumalanga.”
Meanwhile, Mkhwebane has condemned the act of burning schools and clinics during community protests. She says young people should be at the forefront to safeguard public property and infrastructure.
“We have the Youth of 1976, they changed a lot for in this country. We also expect them as the future instead of focusing on things which are not going to take them forward, let them focus on education, let them focus on knowing what is happening in their country and take interest on what is happening and also contribute as the youth of this country, because some of us would be retiring soon and they must take on the baton.”
All the speakers at the event have urged young people to use the opportunities created for them by the democratic government. Click below for more on Youth Day: