By Alinah Ramphala, DA Metsimaholo Councillor, Free State DA Youth Deputy Leader:
The below speech was delivered by Cllr Alinah Ramphala during the Youth Day debate held at the Free State Provincial Legislature Thursday 11 June 2015.
South Africa is a land that is said to be of immense opportunity. But is it really? Are we really at a point where we can say we are at the brink of unleashing the capabilities of our backbone which is the youth. Our country is blessed with the most gifted & talented youth this world has ever seen yet often times we find that all that talent is drowned by the one social ill that seeks to be the downfall of our precious nation & that is unemployment, youth unemployment to be precise.
66% of this country’s unemployed population are youth & that has proven itself to be the root cause of community killers such as crime, alcohol, drug abuse & many others. Although we understand the urgent need for job creation we also understand that our education system has failed some if not most of our youth & that has rendered them virtually unemployable, another contributing factor is the lack of skills amongst the youth that we are currently facing, so even if our country did manage to create enough jobs to bridge the unemployment gap it would prove to be a futile exercise because of the above mentioned challenges as it would be impossible to employ people who lacked the education and the skills to perform the job required.
What this country needs is for more focus to be put in youth skill development workshops that will inform & upskill the unemployed youth of this country about the various opportunities available to them that will help improve their employability & entrepreneurial skills. We also need to have the infrastructure that makes it much more easier for people to start & grow their own businesses in this country, we need more entrepreneurs in this country & for us to achieve our goal we need to remove as many bureaucratic hurdles to starting & running successful businesses as we possibly can, we also need to ensure that our innovators get access to the resources they need to grow such as capital for example.
A society that is free, fair & filled with opportunity is exactly what the youth of this country needs to thrive. In this day & age we are living in a world filled with go-getters, resourceful thinkers, dreamers & innovators who will stop at nothing to achieve their life’s purpose, but are only in need of just a little nudge in the right direction for them to succeed. Providing them with food parcels or temporary jobs is a term solution that will not help them sustain themselves in the long run but the youth of this country need is a hand up not seasonal handouts that only keep pushing them deeper into poverty. A wise man once said a country that does not value its youth does not value its future & that is a mentality that needs to exist in all our minds so that we are able to remember the significant role the youth plays in the success of this country.
Re hloka ho kenya tshebetsong metjha etla netefatsang hore batjha ba naha ena ba ho beuwa ditlhoko tsa bona pele mme le disebediswa tse lekaneng dia tholahala bakeng sa batjha ha holoholo bakeng sa hore re kgone ho hlola diphephetso tse renang le tsona ka hare ho naha tse tswelang pele ho senya bokamoso ba batjha ba naha ya rona, tlwaelo ya ho iketsetsa ke tlwaelo eo re hlokang hore batjha ba naha ena ba phele ka yona mme eba ntshetse pele ka lebaka la hore re tlamoha ho ela hloko hore kholo le ntshetso pele ya naha ya rona di itshetlehile haholo hodima kholo le ntshetsopele ya batjha ba naha ya rona.
Ke ka lebaka lena moralo wa democratic alliance wa kholo le theho ya mesebetsi ele ona fela o tshepahalang otlatlang ho hodisa moruo wa naha ya rona ho tloha ho dipersente tse thekeselang tse pedi tseo renang le tsona ha jwale hoya ho dipersente tse robedi tse hlokahalang hore naha ya rona e tsebe ho theha mesebetsi e hlokahalang e dimilione tse tsheletseng e ikemetseng ya nako tsohle. Ekasitana le lefapha la matlotlo la naha le etelletsweng pele ke ANC le tshehetsa moralo ona.
The DA lives youth empowerment. It is for this reason that we have for many years championed a Youth Wage Subsidy which incentivizes the private sector to employ first time young job seekers and invest in their training and development through sustainable tax breaks. It is unfortunate that the ANC-led government has only adopted a watered-down and halfhearted subsidy scheme. When the DA comes into government very soon, we will correct this.
Youth empowerment is what the DA stands for. Our leadership at various structures across the country is not only diverse in terms of gender and race, but the youth is represented in all our leadership structures.
“We cannot always build the future for our young people, but we can build our young people for the future”- Franklin D Roosevelt.
If the youth of South Africa is our future, then the DA is definitely the vehicle to take us there.