Ball in youth’s court, says premier

2011-03-16 10:44

The youth must be creative to tackle the high unemployment levels facing them, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said today.

“In an effort to tackle this mammoth challenge head-on, you need to be very creative in a sense that you think of other ways and means in which the development of our youth can be advanced, even outside of the formal job sector,” she said in an address for delivery during consultations on the integrated youth development strategy.

Statistics showed 50% of South African youths were unemployed. “With that at the back of your minds, the engineering of the lasting solutions being crafted here should be multi-pronged,” Mokonyane said.

Government had already started tackling joblessness by making 2011 the “year of the jobs”.

Mokonyane said: “What you need to do is to come up with ways and means in which you will be able to plug the gaps that exist and take advantage of what the employment environment is likely to present in the future.”

Mokonyane outlined initiatives by the Gauteng province to boost employment, including the youth employability programme, the accelerated artisan training programme, boosting tourism by focusing on culture and heritage, and building of a women’s monument in Tshwane to celebrate the role of women in the liberation struggle.

“Other sources of employment opportunities will come from the adventure, nature-based, wellness and medical as well as sporting sectors.

“We have already confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur will be playing in Gauteng in July when they will be taking part in this year’s Vodacom Challenge, and given their current form both in the English Premiership and in the UEFA Champions League, we should be able to take advantage of the interest they are going to generate locally.”

However, Mokonyane added that plans in place could only become a reality if the youth played a “leading role” in their implementation.
She told the gathered youngsters that: “The ball is now in your court.” 

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