Build­ing a foun­da­tion on which the youth of South Africa can flour­ish

Public Sector Manager - - Message From -

South Africa is a young coun­try, with a youth­ful pop­u­la­tion. As we head into a month where we cel­e­brate the youth­ful fire that helped change the world, we are aware of the chal­lenges to­day's youth face.

It falls upon our shoul­ders as lead­ers to build a foun­da­tion upon which the youth of South Africa can flour­ish. We un­der­stand that our in­vest­ment in ed­u­ca­tion and skills devel­op­ment for the youth is an in­vest­ment in all of our futures. Through pol­icy frame­works and part­ner­ships we are lay­ing the fer­tile soil for fu­ture growth.

The re­cently re­leased Com­mis­sion for Em­ploy­ment Eq­uity Re­port shows we have work left to do. Black Africans re­main a mi­nor­ity in top man­age­ment in the pri­vate sec­tor.

When we as a gov­ern­ment speak of rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, we mean cre­at­ing an econ­omy that has room for all South Africans. We mean growth that up­lifts us all. We mean pro­vid­ing skills to our youth so that they are ready to move for­ward.

Gov­ern­ment has changed its pro­cure­ment rules: the pub­lic sec­tor is com­pelled to set aside 30 per cent of the value of ten­ders big­ger than R30 mil­lion for small en­ter­prises.To bol­ster the growth of black-owned com­pa­nies, the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try-ad­min­is­tered Black In­dus­tri­al­ists Pro­gramme will chan­nel funds to com­pa­nies in se­lected eco­nomic sec­tors to help di­ver­sify and grow the econ­omy.

In May gov­ern­ment re­leased an anti-cor­rup­tion dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment. We aim to in­tro­duce mea­sures to cre­ate re­silient anti-cor­rup­tion struc­tures that will help us meet the goals we set out in the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan (NDP).

Em­brac­ing in­no­va­tion

We will en­sure that the mes­sage gets out to gov­ern­ment, busi­ness, labour and civil so­ci­ety. We are ready and able to up­root this blight that robs so many of the prom­ise of this coun­try.

South African, youth have proven them­selves adept at har­ness­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ties in­her­ent in the ICT sec­tor. They have built so­lu­tions to ad­dress con­ti­nen­tal prob­lems. They have har­nessed tech­nol­ogy – de­spite an ac­knowl­edged gap in tech­nol­ogy stan­dards – to make life bet­ter for them­selves and all of Africa.

The young, as they did in 1976, have taken the lead in hur­dling chal­lenges in the com­mer­cial trade, agri­cul­tural and cross-bor­der trade sec­tors.The young are the em­bod­i­ment of the Africa Ris­ing story. We will build on and con­tinue to in­vest in sus­tain­able in­no­va­tion pro­grammes that al­ready ex­ist.

Em­brac­ing in­no­va­tion is an an­chor of the NDP, one of the frame­works that guide our pol­icy mak­ing. It talks, es­pe­cially, about ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and skills geared to­wards a knowl­edge so­ci­ety. This is a vi­sion we South Africans share with the rest of Africa.

It is a vi­sion ex­pressed in the African Union's Agenda 2063, where the con­ti­nent com­mits it­self to "In­vest­ing in Africa's hu­man cap­i­tal for peace and devel­op­ment." Sig­na­tory gov­ern­ments to the African Union's Science, Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion Strat­egy for Africa have com­mit­ted to spend 1 per cent of avail­able fund­ing on re­search and devel­op­ment.

As it was with our lib­er­a­tion strug­gle, South Africa's fu­ture is bound up with Africa's. We en­cour­age you to reach out to Africa. Net­work.

Build re­la­tion­ships. Find com­mon ground from which to work. We will give you the tools to forge the fu­ture we can all be proud of.

We will give you the tools, but we will not push you into the light. It is up to you to find your place un­der the African sun. It is up to you to step out of the shad­ows and walk into the spot­light.

As we cel­e­brate Youth Month we ac­knowl­edge the in­spi­ra­tion you pro­vide.To para­phrase a fa­mil­iar quote: Your ac­tions in­spire us to dream more, learn more, do more and be­come more.You are the lead­ers.

Min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ayanda Dlodlo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.