Key to better life in the hands of youth

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pretoria - The youth has a pivotal role to play in restoring the dignity and bettering the lives of South Africans, says Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan.

Speaking at the department's National Youth Development Council Conference in Benoni on Friday, Chohan recalled the sacrifices by young people during the liberation struggle and urged the youth of today to rise to the challenge.

"We are also mindful of the significant role that the youth can play in pursuing our democratic government's mission to restore dignity to our people and to better the lives of all South Africans," she said.

Issues that needed to be reflected on included the need for the youth in the department to exhibit patriotism beyond what is currently seen in the civil service.

In addition, young officials needed to enthusiastically pursue education and self-improvement as well as strive to be role models within the department and in their communities, Chohan added.

"Our employees must infuse what they do in their day-to-day duties - be it at a refugee centre, port of entry or a civic office, with a deep sense of patriotism and respect of the rules that govern the work of the department," she said.

Chohan stressed the need to build the department into an environment that embraces the culture of learning and did not rely solely on mechanical and operational experience.

Employees should be encouraged to study further, train and develop themselves in all areas of the department's competence.

"This is because we need to develop a well-rounded, cadre who is enthusiastic, dedicated to service, caring, learned, skilled and competent in order to dispatch our duties effectively and efficiently. We must seek to develop a calibre of a public servant that will turn this organisation around," Chohan said.

Ultimately, the department should become the employer of choice, she added.