Responsible for Youth of G20 countries
of Youth Organisations
gives me great pleasure to lead the South African delegation and to address
this important Summit.
people represent an important positive force for social change. Their growth and development is intrinsically
linked to the advancement and progress of our countries, regions and the world.
Summit is an important one because it provides a valuable platform to position
young people and policies that address and advance their interests on a
national and global scale.
this is a platform for learning, collaboration and sharing of best practices,
allow me to share a few highlights from South Africa’s youth development
Youth Policies can be a guiding policy instrument to respond to the needs and
aspirations of our youth and to address the critical youth development
challenges that they face. National
Youth Policies must be at the forefront of delivering a better future for young
people including investments in youth and ensuring their meaningful
participation in the economy.
Africa’s National Youth Policy 2020 prioritizes five key areas:
participation and transformation
education, skills development and second chances
care and combating substance abuse
nation building and social cohesion
responsive youth development institutions
National Youth Policy 2020 is evidenced based, well researched and widely
consulted with young people. Each priority area has a set of policy and
programme interventions. A National
Monitoring and Evaluation Framework has been developed and is being implemented.
is one of the critical areas of the National Youth Policy.
Mandela, reminded us that “education is the most powerful weapon that you can
use to change the world.” Education is
about developing human capabilities so that young people can play their
rightful role in society.
African Union’s Agenda 2063 is premised on investing in the peoples of Africa
through, amongst other things, expanding quality education. The African Youth Charter affirms that every
young person shall have the right to good quality education. But still, quality education remains elusive
for too many young Africans and young people from the developing world.
must remain a public good if we are serious about sustainable development. This requires targeted public investment in
education for widening access and pursuing quality education outcomes.
to the cries from young people, South Africa has recently introduced a policy
of fee free higher education for the working class and the poor. This allows young people from poor and
working class families to study for free at our public universities and
Technical and Vocation Education and Training Colleges.
South African government is making this critical investment for the present and
are working hard at strengthening the quality of our technical and vocational
training so that young people can take advantage of this opportunity. We are
linking priority trades with our national infrastructure programme. Our centers
of specialization in TVET colleges will offer 13 critical trades and occupations
that are in short supply for our infrastructure and economic development
projects. Through a partnership with industry bodies we are ensuring that the
curriculum meets industry standards and needs.
youth unemployment being a global development challenge, young people need jobs
today and need to be prepared for the jobs of the future. They must meaningfully participate in our
national and global economies.
growth of small and medium enterprises are critical for the creation of jobs
and economic growth. Young people must be at the centre of this growth. Our National Youth Development Agency, funds
start up youth entrepreneurs with grants up to the value of 13 000 Euros, and
couples this with business development support services. Through this initiative we have created 2500
new youth driven enterprises in the last three years with more than 10 000 jobs
with our developmental financing institutions, we have established a 180
million euro fund focused solely on youth owned enterprises and we have introduced
preferential public procurement for the benefit of youth owned businesses.
also understand that young people need access to job opportunities. Our
Employment Tax Incentive provides a tax rebate for companies hiring young first
President has also introduced the Youth Employment Services, driven by the
private sector, to provide a year-long internship opportunity for young people
who have never worked before. Over a million young people will benefit from
Africa, with its history of apartheid and separation, needs more social
cohesion. We see our National Youth Service Programme as a key policy
intervention to advance social cohesion. The National Youth Service aims to
reconstruct South African society by developing the abilities of young people
through service and learning. It builds character and enables young people to
give back to society while fostering patriotism.
The G20 group of countries have correctly identified youth
development as a critical issue for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals
and the 2030 Agenda. There is much that we can do to develop relevant policies
and programmes that advance development.
We can learn a lot from each other and this G20 Youth
Ministerial Summit provides an opportunity to strengthen and take forward the
youth development agenda.
But as we do this, we must not forget a critical constituency –
young people themselves. Too often as governments, we make the mistake of doing
things for young people and not with them. Young women and men must be a part
of the conversations. Their input, participation and validation is
invaluable. Their voices must be
heard. We must work with them in
advancing the important agenda of youth development.
Allow me to close with the introductory words of our National
Youth Policy – “We are generation 2020. We don’t want a hand-out; we want a
South Africa supports the consolidation of a permanent
cooperation forum for youth development within the G20.
I thank you.