Youth will be the force that propels SA

2014-06-16 10:00

For many of our youth born during a democratic South Africa, the May 7 elections provided a reminder of how citizens can pool their collective power to make a difference. We own the power to build the South Africa we want to see by 2030.

Young people are a critical force in this.

They have the enthusiasm, vibrancy, courage and spirit to do things differently and to make changes that will bring a better life for millions of our people.

The innovations we most enjoy in our lives were spearheaded by young people and it is these individuals who continue to inspire us – young and old alike.

We have people like Mandla Maseko, who will be the first black South African astronaut, and Siya Xuza, who has had a minor planet named after him by Nasa because of his ground-breaking work.

This is the spirit that must drive the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), which recognises the role young people can and must play in South Africa’s development.

Recognising we have a rapidly urbanising and increasingly youthful population, the NDP presents an unprecedented opportunity to harness the talent, passion and energy of the youth to help boost economic growth and development. By being innovative and creative in doing this, we will be able to ensure the gainful employment of our youth.

Implementing the NDP will see young people receiving quality education – particularly in maths and science – and skills transfer and training.

Government will be expected to play its part by ensuring adequate teacher training as well as providing an enabling infrastructure for schools and tertiary institutions.

Communities and civil society must play their part by developing programmes with the relevant institutions to provide life skills and entrepreneurship training.

Organised business is expected to expand learnerships, apply tax incentives to support youth employment and create formalised graduate recruitment schemes.

The implementation of the NDP will see South Africa become a nation that collectively cares for its youth.

Ultimately, the plan must result in a more united and cohesive society.

Tlou is Brand SA marketing director

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