Pretoria - The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has added its voice in condemning the recent spate of attacks on foreign nationals.
“We call for calm and for young people who constitute the majority of those perpetrating such attacks to immediately bring an end to the violence and ensure peace and stability prevails.
"We are one continent and one people. We are human beings before we are Africans and we are Africans before we are South Africans. To harm a fellow brother or sister is inexcusable and inhumane. Why would we want to hurt our own brothers and sisters?" said NYDA chairperson Yershen Pillay.
"We know that the majority of those perpetrating these crimes are young people. As the youth, we must provide leadership and bring an immediate end to this carnage. It can never be that we allow our country to be dragged into disrepute simply because of some mischievous elements in our society.
“We know that challenges of job creation, poverty and inequality are frustrating and more should be done to create jobs and provide opportunities but violence towards another can never be a solution. Young South Africans must stand up for peace and tolerance. We are the African youth and we are one," he said.
Pillay said many young people are angry and frustrated at the lack of opportunities to break free from poverty and joblessness. He said such anger and frustration need to be channelled into a common strategy for addressing these challenges.
Pillay said it was unfortunate that young people are vulnerable to “agent provocateurs”, who use their vulnerability to advance their own personal agendas through violence and instability.
“We strongly condemn the current attacks on African nationals and we call on the youth of South Africa to stand in unity against all forms of crime,” he said.
The NYDA plans to launch a "One Africa, One Youth" campaign to promote peace, unity and social cohesion amongst the youth in particular.
The campaign will spread information and support to young people on the importance of a united and democratic society to advance efforts aimed at socio-economic development.
“We will use the campaign to mobilise our communities and young people in particular to create awareness around the mutual struggles that we face as a country, continent and people, and how best to overcome these by working together as one,” Pillay said.
UJ makes its voice heard
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) will on Monday lead a march against attacks on foreign nationals.
“As an international university anchored in Africa with the vision to become the Pan-African epicentre of critical and intellectual inquiry, UJ strongly condemns the violence against our fellow Africans and other foreigners.
“As South Africans who owe so much to the international community, particularly other countries on our continent, we are deeply distressed about these attacks,” the university said in a statement.
The march will start at the Sanlam Auditorium at the Auckland Park Kingsway campus at 12pm.
The demonstration, to be led by the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prof Ihron Rensburg, and other members of UJ leadership shows UJ’s solidarity with the international students and employees and the wider international community in South Africa. - SAnews.gov.za