PRETORIA, Jan 15 — South Africa needs a skilled labour force to steer the country onto a higher developmental platform, says Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela.
Speaking at the launch of the consultative process for the National Youth Policy in Pretoria Wednesday, he said the policy would be adopted in March and would respond to youth challenges.
It has emerged that many young people lacked professional or technical skills. According to the government, 60 per cent of youth aged below 35 years have never been employed. Thus, the Youth Policy seeks to address such challenges and will also look at past lessons.
According to Manamela, the policy will be ready in three months’ time. It seeks to enable economic participation for young people, develop skills and reduce mortality among the youth, caused by the use of drugs and alcohol.
Noting that without a targeted intervention, many young people would remain on the fringes of society, Manamela said one of the mistakes of the past policy document (2009-2014) was assuming that all youth development efforts would be spearheaded through the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) itself.
Manamela said it was the government’s view that such assumptions had resulted in the NYDA shaping itself as everything to everyone. As a result, it failed to do some of the essential things it was meant to achieve for itself and the youth.