ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE JEFF RADEBE, MP, MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR
PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION; AT THE NDP YOUTH AMBASSADORS BREAKFAST
MEETING; UNION BUILDINGS, PRETORIA
Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela
Director General of the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms
Guests — The Youth amongst us
the Holy occasion of Eid ul Adha that celebrates the Hajj. To all Muslims in
South Africa, Africa and the world over – Eid –ul –Addha Mubarak…kulu aam, wa
antum, bighayr. May you be filled with happiness and may every step of your
journey through life be blessed.
my pleasure to welcome all of you to this gathering. The occasion to meet with
the NDP Brand Ambassadors presents us with the glorious opportunity to interact
with the future leaders of our country. We have in this room some of the brightest
stars in the galaxy of talented, innovative and highly dedicated young South
Africans. I am looking forward to announcing some of these young people as the
NDP Ambassadors later this month.
Let me extend a special word of welcome to the
business executives who took time to be with us this morning. We are grateful
that you have answered our call to work with these young people. Any contribution
to youth development is an investment towards a brighter future for our nation.
I can assure you that this is a project worthy of your support and commitment.
I would encourage you to invest resources available at your disposal in support
of the NDP Youth Ambassador programme.
Our Department has initiated the National Youth
Development Ambassador Programme to mobilise young South Africans to be active role-players
in economic growth. As government, our mission is to transform the economic
landscape and make it more inclusive and address the challenges of poverty,
unemployment and inequality. The NDP Ambassador Programme is
premised on promoting youth entrepreneurship to boost
economic growth, increase employment, and reduce poverty and inequality.
guided by the prescripts of the National Development Plan (NDP), our lodestar
in our collective journey towards the year 2030. The
NDP rests on the following six pillars: mobilisation of all South
Africans, active engagement of citizens in their own development, expansion of
the economy and making growth inclusive, building of key capabilities - human,
physical and institutional; building a capable and developmental state and
fostering strong leadership throughout society.
Our occasion today falls squarely within the
ambit of the NDP. The NDP is futuristic in its approach, as it outlines our
envisaged development trajectory in our journey towards 2030. It singles out
our youthful population as the major catalysts in boosting economic growth. The
NDP puts youth empowerment at the epicentre of development strategies. The
youth are therefore at the core of South Africa’s development agenda.
The young people that you see in this room
today have established themselves in a variety of fields. The first group was
selected from the winners and the nominees of the South African Youth Awards
(SAYA), held at the St. George Hotel in March this year. It is our view that
the full value of an award cannot be realised unless the winner contributes
towards the development of their communities. We want to see young people
directly involved in imparting skills and nurturing other young talents.
have also embarked on a massive public nomination process, where we put out a
call for young people to submit their names and motivate why they think they
deserve to be the NDP Youth ambassadors. We have had overwhelming response from
young people across the country. We are grateful to all those who responded to
our call and, even though we cannot select all of them, we trust that they will
continue making meaningful contribution to their communities.
the concept of ambassadorship for our overarching plan and vision highly. Our
Youth Ambassadors will be expected to champion the values
and principles of the NDP. The selection
criteria for candidates is a stringent one, and involves a rigorous process to
ensure that we select the best candidates for specific fields. Those who will
be the ultimate ambassadors would have passed the litmus test as trailblazers
in their respective fields.
We intend to work with vibrant young people who
are proud to serve the nation and are between the ages of 18 – 35. The selected
contingent of young people must be committed individuals who are prepared to
drive change in our society. We want to select the most
innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and career trailblazers. A special
consideration will be reserved for those young people who have a practical idea
that has a potential to contribute in reducing poverty, unemployment and
Our criteria is informed by the awareness that
the selected NDP youth ambassadors will be expected to engage with various
stakeholders in government and the private sector. This will require some basic
understanding of the business world and ability to express the principles of
the NDP in a comprehensive manner. It is therefore envisaged that the selected
NDP youth ambassadors endeavour to equip themselves with some knowledge of
developments in the business world, lookout for opportunities in the economy
and use the knowledge to assist in reducing unemployment.
It is highly inspirational that our prospective
NDP youth ambassadors are already playing a role in the upliftment of their
communities and have been recognized for their services. We are confident that
these young people will create sustainable developmental programmes and
business enterprises that will radically transform our economy and society.
The selected NDP youth ambassadors will be
expected to serve as role models to young people in the country and should be
respectable as members of society. They must see themselves as agents of change
and be willing to dedicate their time in the service of the South African
people. We can already see in the profiles of our prospective ambassadors traces
of well-groomed and admirable values such as nobility, humbleness, servant
leaderships, sacrifice and integrity.
3. THE PLIGHT OF YOUTH IN THE COUNTRY
As government, we take cognisance of the fact
that young people bear the brunt of unemployment in South Africa. Our massive
unemployment rate rose to a staggering 27.7% in the first quarter of
2017. Young people are at the bottom of the economic hierarchy and mostly bear
the brunt of unemployment.
economic indicators show that the youth remains the hardest hit by the triple
challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. These are some of the
challenges that we must collectively address with the urgency that they
deserve. Youth unemployment breeds social ills such as drug abuse, rampant
crime and violence.
important to note that the scourge of unemployment is not a government problem
alone. It is a societal problem. Youth development is therefore
a matter of national importance. To ignore the plight of the youth will be a
major risk in the socio-economic condition of our country. Let us join hands and wage a fierce fight against
4. ESTABLISHING A
One of the ways in which we can effectively
empower the youth is by establishing a social compact. Government, business and
civil society organisations must work together to combat youth unemployment.
They should provide skills development opportunities through training,
internships and mentorship for young graduates and budding entrepreneurs. This
is how we can establish a solid foundation for rapid and inclusive economic
growth in our country.
The NDP brand ambassador programme is an
endeavour aimed at providing a platform for young people to share ideas that
will take South Africa forward. This is a very important venture to ensure that
the youth are self-sufficient. The youth of today are the ones who will witness
the fruition of our Vision 2030. They must be the key drivers of NDP programmes
today. When we invest in youth, we invest in the future of our country.
nations all across the globe enhance their chances of prosperity through
investment in new ideas, new innovations and new opportunities. Young
people must be given opportunities to explore their talents and unleash their
creative potential. We need innovative young entrepreneurs who will play a
meaningful role in the renewal of our economy. Entrepreneurship is a
fundamental endeavour for economic emancipation especially in our rapidly
changing industrial landscape.
Future projections indicate that an estimated
65% of children entering
primary school today will most likely work in roles that do not yet exist.
It is through innovation that young people discover new avenues and establish
new ways of conducting lucrative and legitimate business ventures.
I strongly believe that young people should be
at the forefront of fundamental change in society. The future of this country
is in their hands. It is our local innovators and entrepreneurs who will
ultimately create the millions of jobs that we need to realise an inclusive
economy. We must
invest in skills development so that we can produce young men and women who
will become exceptional innovators and make a meaningful contribution to
in this context that we are meeting today. We want to introduce the NDP Brand
Ambassador Programme to the business sector, foster strong relationships on
youth entrepreneurship and encourage active citizenry among the various
stakeholders. Let us explore ways in which government, youth and business can
collaborate in creating jobs that are required to grow an inclusive economy as
envisaged in the NDP.
is a vital partner in our efforts to develop a more dynamic, inclusive and
flourishing economy. The strength of public-private partnerships is that they
are mutually beneficial. By working with young innovative minds, businesses
grow their customer base and increase their profit margins while at the same
time addressing government imperatives like employment creation and economic
nexus between government, business and civil society, including youth organisations,
is a potent combination that can propel our nation forward. We must work
together to empower the youth. We have young people here with great potential.
We know that given wings they will fly. Let us help them to develop those
wings. It is our future – make it work!