SPEECHES: Speaking notes of the Minister for the Public Service and Administration Adv. Ngoako Ramatlhodi, MP, on the occasion of the ministerial youth engagement in Fochville, Merafong municipality

Date: 9 Jun 2016

Executive Mayor, Speaker and Councillors,


The SABC Chief Operations Officer,

Our esteemed guests - the youth!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are indeed very privileged and honoured to be in the midst of you today, the young people of this Municipality who are the future leaders of our country.

This current Youth Month marks the 40h anniversary of the June 16 uprising where hundreds of young people brutally lost their lives while on a quest to fight an adjust education system imposed on them by the apartheid regime.

We commemorate this event under the theme: "Youth moving South Africa forward", which also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the adoption of our Constitution, the overarching legislative mechanism through which citizens rights are guaranteed.

There is therefore a constitutional guarantee that enjoins all organs of state to ensure that young people are treated fairly and are not discriminated against in all manner of forms.

It is necessary that our education, training and innovation system should cater for different needs and produce highly skilled individuals especially the young. The graduates of South Africa's universities and colleges should have the skills and knowledge to meet the present and future needs of the economy and society in general by providing equal opportunities and helping all South Africans to realise their full potential.

Our youth are moving South Africa forward.

The Youth month theme also recognises the role that the youth of South Africa have played and are still playing in moving the country forward. The role of young people is vital if we are to build a better country. They are the innovators and the vanguard of change and their passion and enthusiasm continues to inspire the nation to greater heights. Young people are crucial in the fight against poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Public Service Internship and Learnership Programme

As government, we have created platforms, which the youth should utilise to achieve academic, career and economic opportunities. The onus is upon the youth to take these opportunities and empower themselves. An empowered youth today means South Africa will have empowered leaders in the future.

In the Public Service, government has introduced Internship and Learnership programmes which empower the youth who have graduated from tertiary institutions, with the requisite skills for the job market. We would like the youth to explore the opportunities offered by the Public Service in all spheres of government as we would like to make the Public Service an employer of choice.

Bright future for youth who learn and innovate in business environment

Also, South Africa is a country where our youth are free to live their dreams. The inherent potential in young people can be the catalyst for social change and economic emancipation. The NDP singles out our youthful population as an opportunity to boost economic growth, increase employment and reduce poverty.

Government and the private sector have established a fund for Small Business Support, with equal contributions from both partners.

The fund will provide "venture" capital-type funding and mentoring to target groups, especially black entrepreneurs.

Initiatives such as the Social Accord on Youth Employment and Youth Employment Tax Incentive will change the tide of youth unemployment.

The Department of Small Business Development has launched a National programme to identify and support a group of high-growth potential SMEs every year for 10 years. These opportunities are awaiting our young people to tap on them and grow their potential.

Many other opportunities available for our youth.

Government has a number of programmes and initiatives to empower the youth in their communities. They include:

  • The Expanded Public Works Programme involves young people in the refurbishment, rehabilitation, and maintenance of community infrastructure across the country.
  • Various learnerships and internships focused on raising the skills capacity of young people are offered through Sector Education and Training Authorities.
  • The National Youth Development Agency is a one stop shop for youth to access information on career guidance services, mentorship, skills development and training, and entrepreneurial development.

The youth must help defend and build on the gains of democracy.

Our constitution allows those who have concerns to raise them through various avenues, including the right to protest peacefully. We call on communities to express their concerns within the bounds of the law. When infrastructure is destroyed communities are deprived of a chance at a better life.

As we celebrate Youth Month, we are here as the national, provincial and local government, to engage with you the youth of Fochville. We are here to demonstrate to you that as Government, We Belong (to you), We Care (about you), We Serve (you).

I thank you.

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