Govt calls on SA to commemorate Youth Month

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pretoria - Government has called on all South Africans to commemorate Youth Month.

The month, which was officially launched today, will see month-long activities and programmes under the theme, “Youth moving South Africa forward”.  

Youth Month events are organised to commemorate the anniversary of the death of hundreds of high school students, who lost their lives when apartheid security forces opened fire on them on 16 June 1976. This happened after they took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black secondary schools.

This year, Youth Day, which commemorates the 16 June 1976, occurs within the context of South Africa’s celebration of 20 Years of Freedom.

Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO Phumla Williams says since the advent of democracy, government has made great advancement around the economic, social and cultural development of young people and has created institutional capacity dedicated to the development and prosperity of young people.

“Whilst, we are aware of the unemployment challenge in the country, government has put in place measures for economic growth that support youth development.”

She says government has prioritised the development of policies and established institutions that facilitate youth development, and has introduced initiatives to assist the youth in South Africa.

Today, the young people enjoy increased opportunities for formal education and training; learnerships and internships, as well as the introduction of the second Chance programme which has assisted thousands of young people to re-register with the Department of Basic Education for a chance to rewrite matric and go on to pass Grade 12.

In February 2014, the Presidential Indaba on Youth Jobs and Skills provided an opportunity for the youth to empower themselves, and be exposed to various career opportunities.

The Indaba produced a declaration with resolutions on how together with young people all stakeholders will address the issue of youth unemployment.

In April 2013, government representatives and social partners signed the Youth Employment Accord which sets out the joint commitment to prioritize youth employment and skills development that are intended to help achieve the New Growth Path goal of five million new jobs by 2020.

“To this end, Government is targeting five per cent of every department's employment to provide internship opportunities for young people. Government sees the youth as the future leaders of our country, and aspires to assist and build them as outlined in the National Development Plan,” said Williams.

More information on opportunities that Government provides for the youth, can be accessed on: https://www.gov.za/issues/youth/index.html .

The Youth Services Guide can be accessed on: https://www.gcis.gov.za/sites/default/files/docs/resourcecentre/multimedia/Youth_Services_Guide_2013.pdf  - SAnews.gov.za

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