Education first step to radical economic transformation

Monday, April 24, 2017

Cape Town – Communications Deputy Minister Thandi Mahambehlala says educating young people is the first step for the country to achieve radical economic transformation.

The Deputy Minister said this when addressing a youth imbizo at the Old Cross Roads township, near the Cape Town International Airport, on Sunday.

The event, which was part of the national Imbizo Week of activities, was the Deputy Minister’s first imbizo since her appointment into the executive.

She said government remained committed to the youth and that according to Stats South Africa, approximately 25% of the working age group is unemployed.

About 70% of those are young people between the ages of 15 and 35 years.

“So it follows then that the first step towards achieving radical economic transformation is increasing the number of educated youth. How are we supposed to deconstruct and decolonise if we are not educated?

“To achieve this, our government has taken a decision to provide unskilled and uneducated youth with second chance opportunities,” she said.

She said this includes the Solomon Mahlangu Bursary Scheme, which was introduced by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to provide failed matriculants an opportunity to re-do and re-write their National Senior Certificate.

The Deputy Minister said community colleges have been designed to cater for youth who neither completed their schooling nor attended school and as a result, do not qualify to study at technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges and universities.

The colleges have been tailored made to meet the needs of the youth, she said.

“As government, we note that there are number of unemployed graduates in our communities. This should not discourage our youth to study further, in fact if one carefully reads the analysis done by Stats SA on an annual basis, you’ll see that if you are educated you have a better chance of being employed.  

“Our mission to restructure our economy stems from the observation that you can have economic growth at any level but [it can be] jobless growth.

“The youth must continue to be radical in all aspects of society. They all have a duty to ensure that education is fashionable and alcohol and drug abuse is unfashionable,” she said.

Partnerships needed to address SA’s socio-economic needs

The Deputy Minister said, meanwhile, that while government will do all it can to deliver services and development to communities, it cannot go at it on its own.

“Government cannot address the needs of South Africans on its own we need partnership citizens.

“Credible civil society organisations…real communities and transformed businesses [are needed] to create a better life for all,” she said.

She said civil society organisations should partner with government to rid communities of nyaope and alcohol, which often leads to violent crimes. – SAnews.gov.za

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