President moots committee to fight violence against women

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has called for the establishment of a committee to address violence against women and children.

“One of the things… we need to do is to organise the entire society to [set up] a people’s committee on violence against women and children… so that all citizens in the country participate in stopping this scourge,” President Zuma said.

Addressing the Presidential Youth Working Group meeting in Pretoria on Friday, President Zuma said the committee would not be a programme of a particular political party but it is envisaged to be for everyone in the country and it would need volunteers.

National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) deputy chairperson Bavelile Hlongwa said during the meeting, it was agreed that the South African Police Service, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Women should rollout programmes in communities to raise awareness about violence against women and children.

“[The departments] will deal with the fear that our communities are experiencing… and also deal with how to assist society to realise that we cannot live in such a state,” she said.

The Presidential Youth Working Group brings together government and youth organisations to promote youth participation in governance and policy making.

President Zuma chairs the Working Group, supported by Deputy Ministers, who are led by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela.

“President Jacob Zuma has committed government departments to speed up efforts and prioritise the implementation of programmes on youth development to address the long standing challenges facing young people, particularly economic emancipation,” the Presidency said in a statement released after the meeting.

The meeting reviewed progress made in youth development and discussed challenges facing the youth, including the recent incidents of the killing of women and children as well as ways of ensuring meaningful economic participation by the youth in the radical socio-economic transformation programme of the country.

President Zuma encouraged young people to take advantage of government’s programmes aimed at supporting young entrepreneurs and cooperatives to ensure the full participation of young people in the mainstream economy.

Deputy Minister Manamela said progress has been made in implementing the National Youth Policy, particularly in the areas of employment, entrepreneurship and education.

“A lot more young people have been supported in their efforts to be entrepreneurs, to be in business and to create jobs.

“A lot more people are going to Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, a lot more young people are trained as artisans which was one area which was a big concern, a lot more young people are in employment but unfortunately, government led employment initiatives,” he said.

President Zuma has asked Deputy Minister Manamela, the NYDA and youth organisations to probe further and insist on commitments by the private sector and civil society in supporting government’s efforts towards employment creation and look further in possibilities resourcing youth development work.

“Moving forward, we will be have more of these engagements. We will be reporting back to the youth organisations as well as the President about what the different government departments are doing to ensure that youth development is placed at the centre of our government,” said Deputy Minister Manamela.

The youth representatives also raised concerns on the insufficient participation of the business sector in youth development and entrepreneurship programmes.

Other issues that were raised by the youth were the review of the Public Finance Management Act to ensure that youth business were supported, improved quality education and the issue of land.

President Zuma used the meeting to officially launch the Youth Month, which is held under the theme, ‘The Year of OR Tambo: Advancing Youth Economic Empowerment’. –

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