address by the Honourable Jeff Radebe MP Minister in the Presidency for
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the occasion of the unveiling of the new
NYDA building name
10 NOVEMBER 2017
Chairperson of the
National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Sifiso Mtsweni,
Acting CEO of the NYDA,
Mr Waseem Carrim
Delegates from the
various youth formations present here
Ladies and Gentlemen
is my immense pleasure to preside over this historic occasion. We are gathered
here for the official opening of the Head Office of the National Youth
Development Agency (NYDA). This marks the opening of a new chapter in the lives
of youth in South Africa.
Through this function, we are
officially opening a new home for the young people of our country. We are
opening the doors for the youth who are determined to contribute to the growth
of our economy. We are inviting young people to come and share their innovative
ideas with the agency. We want every young person in our country to know that
the NYDA is here to support them.
I am told that the relocation of
the NYDA Headquarters to this building will result in the savings of
approximately R12 million per annum. This is a major victory for youth in our
country. The savings will be utilized constructively to contribute towards
youth development programmes. We must direct all resources available at our disposal
towards the empowerment of youth.
The NYDA is an agency that is
charged with responsibility of addressing central challenges that face the
youth. It remains a critical stakeholder in the government’s efforts to enhance
youth development in South Africa. It must respond to the pressing challenges
that face our youth today.
Youth unemployment is a major economic factor that breeds
other social ills. There is a symbiotic relationship between increased youth
unemployment and crime in our society. The prevalence of drug abuse is palpable
in areas where there is high youth unemployment. To ignore the plight of the
youth poses a major risk in the moral fibre of our society.
It is for this reason
that government has significantly increased its budget allocation to the NYDA
and other youth development projects. Out of the 923 million allocated to us as
the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in the current
financial year, R442 million is dedicated to youth development.
A staggering R430
million (Four Hundred and Thirty Million rand) has been allocated to the NYDA
alone. The increase in the resource allocation to the NYDA is an affirmation of
the confidence that we have in this institution.
We provide resources to
the NYDA so that it can respond efficiently to the challenges that face the
youth at local, provincial and national levels. The agency is entrusted with
the crucial responsibility of coordinating and mainstreaming youth development
across sectors of society. The NYDA and other related organisations
specialising in youth development must initiate, design, coordinate, evaluate
and monitor all programmes aimed at integrating youth into the mainstream
Amongst other things,
the NYDA is expected to facilitate economic participation and empowerment
programmes for young people. It is vital that the agency partners with state
organs, private sector, non-governmental organisations and community based
organisations in initiatives aimed at employment creation, entrepreneurship and
As the agency
representing the youth, the NYDA has got the responsibility to initiate more
programmes that are aimed at poverty alleviation, urban and rural development
and combatting crime, substance abuse and social decay amongst the youth. The objective
here is not to give handouts but to enable youth to engage in constructive
As one of our
interventions as the DPME, we recently launched the NDP Youth Brand Ambassador
Programme. The programme is aimed at promoting youth entrepreneurship to boost
economic growth, increase employment, and reduce poverty and inequality. We
envision the programme as a significant contributor towards the attainment of the
national imperatives of creating an inclusive and more dynamic economic
young people are some of the most outstanding innovators, investors,
entrepreneurs and career trailblazers in our country. They are achievers in
their respective fields selected from different provinces across South Africa.
I am proud to say that more stakeholders are joining hands with us to empower
We must help the youth
to help themselves. We must empower the youth to develop our society. An
empowered youth would lead to rapid economic growth and transformation. When we
empower the youth we empower the nation.
is an immediate need for South Africa. This means that if we are to confront
challenges facing young people we need to promote entrepreneurship as a viable
career path. The NYDA must grow youth entrepreneurship and support youth-owned businesses.
Youth are at the centre of the country’s development
and are an integral part of Vision 2030. The National Development Plan (NDP), our
country's long-term vision, singles out young people as key to the development
of the country. The NDP highlights that South Africa’s youthful population
presents an opportunity to boost economic growth, increase employment and
It is for this reason that youth empowerment is a national
priority. We want youth from different backgrounds across the length and breath
of South Africa to benefit from the programmes of the NYDA. The NYDA has brought
forward initiatives and programmes that are geared towards helping the youth of
South Africa to rise above the many challenges that confront them.
While we remain proud of the
achievements of the NYDA, we are conscious of the fact that the organisation
alone cannot address each and every single challenge that faces the youth. We
need the support and commitment of other stakeholders in society, including
educational institutions, businesses, labour and civil society organisations.
Youth development is everybody’s business.
Our occasion today is indicative of the NYDA commitment to the
empowerment of young people in our society. The naming of this building will
give it an identity that associates it with the struggles of young people in
our country. It is fitting that this new building is named after a youth
activist who remains a great inspiration to generations of young people in our
After careful consideration, it was found appropriate to name this
building after Tsietsi Mashinini – a student leader who played a pivotal role
in the historic Soweto Uprisings of June 1976. Many of Mashinini’s
characteristics resonate with the youth of our country. Mashinini is remembered
as a fearless fighter and student leader whose name will forever be etched in
memory as one of the outstanding leaders of student activism.
Mashini would have been 60 years old this year if he was still
alive. He was born in 1957 in Jabavu, Soweto. He was a student activist at the historic
Morris Isaacson High School, where he was the head of the debate team ad
president of the Methodist Youth Guild. He was elected President of the Soweto
Student Representative Council (SSRC) and he played a prominent role in the
mass students’ demonstrations in 1976.
His passing on the eve of our freedom in 1990, robbed South Africa
of a distinguished leader who would have contributed enormously to our
unfolding democracy. The government of South Africa honoured Mashinini’s
valiant role in the struggle for our liberation posthumously with the
Presidential Order of Luthuli. This Presidential order honours his
inspirational leadership and dedication to the struggle of his people.
We trust that naming this building after such a prominent youth
activist, we will in turn inspire youth to contribute positively towards the
development of our society. We hope that young people will derive inspiration
from Mashinini and his generation of student activists of 1976, who were never
complacent but took matters to their own hands. We trust that the NYDA will continue
supporting the youth in their development endeavours.
Now that the youth have
a home at the Tsietsi Mashinini Building, I expect a more vibrant interaction
between the youth and the NYDA. This building must open its doors to the young
people in our country. The NYDA must be accessible to young people and strive
to reach out to as many young people as possible.
As you walk into this
building every day, you must know that the spirit of Mashinini hovers over you.
You must cherish his principles and uphold his legacy. May the revolutionary
spirit of Mashinini inspire positive change in our society.