Youth Day: Politicians send different messages

2012-06-16 00:00

THE majority of Youth Day celebrations today will focus on unemployment with the parties having very different messages.

The DA and the IFP are to focus on the fact that the majority of the unemployed are under 35. DA leader Helen Zille is to launch a “Faces of Youth Unemployment” campaign. This will start with the unveiling of banners over a series of billboards in Naledi, Soweto. The DA stated the photos featured in the campaign were sent to the DA by thousands of young people who do not have jobs.

The IFP Youth Day rally will also focus on unemployment and the keynote speaker will be IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi. It will not al be gloom, however, as IFP Youth Brigade chair, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said it will also be a time of forgetting one’s woes and the event at kwaMbonambi in northern Zululand will be filled with energy and creativity.

The Abahlali Youth Brigade, whose members are mainly from informal settlements, will use the day to forget about joblessness and concentrate on sport. The organisers said teenage pregnancies and the high incidence of drug abuse are as a result of young people having nothing to do. Abahlali have organised a sports tournament at the Newlands Centre in Durban.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government will be holding its official Youth Day celebration in Melmoth today. This follows a two-day Youth Parliament sitting in KwaHlabisa.

KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize told the young people about government’s programmes aimed at improving their job opportunities. These included internships, learnership, apprenticeships and economic development programmes.

He said the provincial government has awarded 2 743 students bursaries worth more than R112,2 million this year.

The national government’s official Youth Day event will be held in Port Elizabeth and will be addressed by Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency.

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