Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has urged North West youth to take their studies seriously as it will enable them to participate in the running of the country.
Addressing the Youth Sectoral Parliament in Mafikeng, in the North West, on Monday, Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams emphasised the importance of education, saying it is important for the youth to equip themselves with relevant skills.
“Indeed, young people continue to be a central part of a national effort to move South Africa forward.
“I would like to assure you that our tertiary institutions are open for every qualifying South African, and we have the National Student Financial Aid Scheme to help young people who deserve a chance at higher education but do not have the means,” she said on Monday.
She also told the youth to learn to respect their leaders.
“It cannot be correct that we wail, yell and swear at our leaders. We have heard of tata Nelson Mandela and James Moroka’s contribution towards our struggle they did all without insulting anyone but through radical and constructive engagements. This is who we must aspire to be, leaders that learn from those that came before us,” she said.
She said the Youth Sector Parliament plays an important role in the country’s young democracy as it provides a platform to discuss the role of the youth in the mainstream economy, social cohesion and youth participation in governance.
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams explained the importance of the Youth Sector Parliament, saying it provides an opportunity for the youth to engage with Members of the Provincial Legislature regarding the legislature’s mandate as the law-maker and overseer of the provincial government’s work.
“Through this Sector Parliament, the youth also interact with stakeholders from other sectors, including business, further education and training and others, to discuss development opportunities available to them,” she said.
The North West Youth Sector Parliament was attended by youth representing various political parties and municipalities in the province.
Most of them were excited to be at the legislature, especially those who were coming for the first time.
To many it was an opportunity to learn about the processes of the legislature and how debates are conducted.
The young Parliamentarians were afforded an opportunity to debate issues of concern to them.
Most raised issues ranging from youth unemployment, poverty, lack of skills and education.
Naledi Santagane, from Disabled People of South Africa, spoke on behalf of people with disabilities, saying much still needed to be done to improve their lives.
She expressed concern about lack of opportunities for people with disabilities.
“We are fighting for equal representation,” she said, adding that the 2 percent representation is not enough.
“We want every government department to recognise and employ people with disabilities,” she said.
Santagane also expressed concern about lack of schools for people with disabilities.
Also speaking at the Youth Sectoral Parliament, was North West MEC for Education and Sports, Collen Maine, who emphasised the importance of education.
“We want you to go to school so you can take part in the economy and also in the running of the country,” she said.
In response to the two percent representation by people with disabilities, MEC Maine said it was a policy matter that would be revisited.
She assured the young Parliamentarians that the provincial government will be improving all the laboratories in the province.
Source : SAnews.gov.za