The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) welcomes pronouncements on youth development made by President Jacob Zuma during the State of the Nation Address.
According to NYDA CEO Steven Ngubeni, the President has set the tone in demonstrating a commitment towards addressing the critical challenge of youth unemployment. “It is now up to the various stakeholders to breathe life into these pronouncements through practical programmes. It is now a responsibility of every government department, business, labour and civil society to take up the challenge and prioritise the development of our youth,” he says.
“While appreciating the crucial role played by State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) in implementing youth development programmes, more can be done to absorb more young people into a variety of programmes including skills development initiatives,” Ngubeni says.
“The private sector should for instance heed the President’s appeal to absorb 11 000 Further Education and Training (FET) graduates who are awaiting placements. This will go a long way in alleviating the plight of youth unemployment,” he adds.
Furthermore, Ngubeni says that the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform should be commended and used as a living model for enrolling 11 740 young people in various National Rural Youth Services Corps training programmes as well as its plans to establish nine Rural Youth Hubs per province. “We urge other public sector organisations to prioritise youth development through such practical programmes as the one done by Rural Development,” says Ngubeni.
The NYDA strongly believes that South Africa can rise above the youth unemployment challenge if all sectors of society collectively channel their energies towards a coordinated common course. “Looking at the magnitude of the challenge we are confronted with, indications points to a simple fact that, no single force acting individually can overcome the challenge of youth unemployment, hence we continue to call on various stakeholders to work in a structured and collaborative manner towards a clear purpose. As the NYDA we will continue to forge partnerships and rally society towards improving the lives of young people,” concludes Ngubeni.