Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, has encouraged youth at Botleng Secondary School in Delmas, Mpumalanga, to join the #365 Days of Activism campaign.
Addressing learners at the launch on Tuesday at the township which has been making headlines about young people battling addictions with nyaope, Minister Shabangu urged learners not to allow drug traffickers to use them.
She said drug addicts don’t have a future and urged the youth to change before its too late.
“Education first and the rest after… if you prioritise education, you will be a better person in your community. You will be able to buy your own car, never rely on another person’s salary,” she said.
The #365 Days of Activism campaign is aimed at mobilising members of society and organisations across all sectors in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children and also address issues of bullying and substance abuse.
Minister Shabangu further emphasised the importance of respect to the learners. “Respect is very important. You must respect each other; respect your teachers; your parents and all the senior citizens in your community.
“There are two things in life for those who do wrong things in a society, that’s jail and death. You need to make sure that you are not abusing the opportunities you are getting in life. The teachers are here to guide you, so that you must have a better future, so don’t disrespect them,” she said.
The Minister also had a strong message to boys. “Being a boy does not make you better than girls, bullying at school is wrong…bullying is dangerous. Respect your fellow learners…in fact; you must protect these girls from all forms of abuse in your community.
“Abstain from abusing young ladies; beating up young ladies will lead to jail. Part of your responsibility as young people is to study and to build.”
She also urged learners to share their personal problems with their teachers. “Enjoy every stage of your life and build every stage of your life positively, but if you are going to take shortcuts, you are going to do wrong things,” she said.
Minister Shabangu also announced that her department is going to make the school her departmental project through regular visits aimed at changing the bad behaviour of certain students.
“We are going to come back, we are going to make this school a project…you are going to be a Presidential project.
“We are going to make sure this school changes, that there is discipline and respect at this school. We will come to check your progress in terms of discipline and respect because we can’t continue to have young generations who don’t respect their teachers and their parents,” she said.
Before interacting with residents at a local community hall, Minister Shabangu signed a Pledge which was also signed by a learner representative, Zoleka Sibiya. The Pledge committed them to fighting violence against women and children, upholding women rights at the community as well as being the positive role models in the society.
SOURCE: South African Official News