Our future lies with youth – Ramaphosa
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa told the Methodist Church of South Africa that the ANC was focusing on young people as they would determine how successful the country would become in the next quarter-of-a-century.
Ramaphosa was invited to speak at the church’s coastal region gathering by KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala.
“There are more young people in universities and colleges and this is the best position for our young people.”
He said the government would focus on early childhood development to ensure that all children were given an equal start in life.
“The first 1 000 days are crucial and we want to focus on nutrition and healthcare.
“Many young people are not working, even when they have degrees and diplomas. “We are going to create jobs – young people must be employed and they must play a role as they will inherit the country.”
Ramaphosa said that the last 25 years were crucial. However, the lessons that had been learnt would be reinforced over the next quarter-of-a-century.
On Saturday, the president highlighted education in the party’s key January 8 speech.
Ramaphosa said the party was particularly proud of the fact that learners from predominantly poor and working-class backgrounds (quintiles 1-3) again made up the greater majority of those attaining bachelor passes.
“President Nelson Mandela said it best when he remarked: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“Gauteng and Free State have consistently performed well and the top 10 best performing schools are in these two provinces. A special appreciation is extended to the Eastern Cape Department of Education, whose pass rate increased by 5.6% to achieve an overall rate of 70.6%.
“Much, much more needs to be done to ensure that access is combined with quality across the length and breadth of the country,” he had said.
Yesterday, he admitted that for some time it had appeared that the ANC had lost its way.
“We are using the experiences of yesterday so we can be stronger tomorrow. We are working hard to grow the economy and we have a clear vision.”
He also spoke about crime in the country, vowing to work to dramatically reduce gender-based violence and crimes against women and children.
Ramaphosa asked the church to pray for the party and for the country ahead of national elections, saying “all of us need your prayers and we should know we have your support but also that you are walking this path with us”.
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa prays with clergy at his official residence, Dube House, in Durban. | ELMOND JIYANE GCIS
ANC members carry a cake to celebrate the party’s 107th anniversary at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. | ELMOND JIYANE GCIS