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Speech by Cde G Tseke during the Youth Debate

15 June 2017

The National Assembly: National Youth Debate "Advancing youth economic empowerment"

Topic: Youth from unemployment to employment and participants in the economy

Hon speaker, Hon ministers, Hon members of parliament, guests in the gallery

Allow me to join my progressive comrades in celebrating the lives of our fearless, young people, who paid the ultimate price of death for the heroic and revolutionary role they played in objecting to the discriminatory apartheid education system, who saw it befitting to fight for their rights, and to fight for the liberation of our own people. The struggle fought by Cde Peter Mokaba, Tsietsi Mashinini,Solomon Mahlangu, Andrew Madi, should not be lost in vain, but we must soldier on as young people, in making sure that we radically transform the socioeconomic empowerment of young people in the dusty streets of Marapyane, Tlaakgameng, Matatiele and the rest of the country. As we celebrate the centenary of our former President Oliver Reginald Tambo, we must take stock of where we come from. What are the legacies they have left in our country, and how best can we shape our future for the generations to come. The ANC led government is committed in moving this country forward, in making sure that young people including young people with disabilities receives job opportunities. I must say Chairperson that the legacy of more than 300 years of colonialism and slavery cannot and will never be erased in 23 years, that's a fact. Let me also remind all members, that the youth of this country is not lost. As we celebrate this years june 16, we must remember that the lost generation are the ones who stole our land and today they claim that if we take back our land there will be civil war, nonetheless we are not frightened nor threaten by white monopoly capitalist who forever wants to enrich themselves and has robbed our forefathers of their belongings. The ANC as a leader of the society must continue radically so, to represent the voice of the voiceless and implement the mandate that was given by the 62% of our voters in the 2014 national election.

South Africa has a generation that must find its way more comfortably and productively in a rapid changing country and world. By investing in a focused and strategic way in this generation, we are guaranteeing a great and a bright future for our country. Oliver Tambo once said" a country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future. As we declared 2017 a year of Oliver Tambo, we must continue to move our great country towards the vision of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society - the strategic objective of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

Chairperson the path which our country has chosen is complex and invites extreme commitment and dedication from those assigned to lead. South Africa belongs to all its people and the future of our country is our collective future. Doing good for youth is good business. As we pay tribute to the 1976 youth we acknowledge that their struggle was not in vain. We do so in knowledge that in the words of Solomon Mahlangu that says their blood has nourished the tree of freedom, the fruits of what we see today.

Chairperson, South Africa has made enormous strides in youth development over the years, government has spend more than R730m to support over 15 000 entrepreneurships, spent billions of rands in learnership, internships and scholarships programmes, the Art and culture department has introduced the Mzansi golden economy strategy and a number of high impact programmes targeting youth and women in the arts have been identified. The expanded public works programme initiatives that sees young people involved in the refurbishment, rehabilitation, and maintainance of community infrastracture across the country.

Chairperson ANC Government is making progress with the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec), which is also implemented in the Western Cape. Narysec's main goal is to recruit and develop rural youth to be para-professionals by training them to render much needed community services where they live. More than, 4 500 youths have completed training in various disciplines, and in the construction sector. A further 855 have been trained in records management, and are currently involved in the scanning and tallying of land claim files in all provinces. Thus far a total of 19 000 young people have been absorbed into the programme. more jobs have been created, mainly in construction linked to the National Infrastructure Plan, amongst others we saw the trade sector, government programmes, business services, transport and communication as part of the nine point plan launched by the President of this Country, amongst others we saw the launch of HBM factory in Ladysmith which produces latex condoms, the Moloto rail corridor in mpumalanga which will unlock job opportunities amongst young people, the expansion of a instant coffee production in KZN, and R17billion has been invested and more than 5000 jobs have unlocked in the ocean economy. I can tell you that we are active in every part of our country and we have a footprint in every province. That's the ANC led government that I'm talking about. Hon members, we agree that a lot still needs to be done and we have capacity and vigor to create more job opportunities.

Chairperson internet, mobile devices, and social networking technology provides young people with more transparent access to labor market information while it maximizes the recruitment reach of employers. By using these channels and transparently specifying the qualifications required for their positions, employers can help youth gain an understanding of the jobs available in the local economy, the avenues for pursuing those jobs, the skills and experience necessary for obtaining them. South Africa must also start to prepare the youth for the digital and the 4th industrial revolution, the use of ICT tools in all human activities as outlined in the NDP. The ANC in its policy document, outline the process in a proper context of creating an environment that will be conducive to the generation to come. The ANC also recommends that government must establish a 4th industrial revolution commission in order to make recommendations on immediate, medium and long term priorities and goals for the society as a whole. This forum will engage different sectors of society on the implementation and benefits in the digital development.

Apart from the fact that young people constitute 50 percent of South Africa's population, they are indeed a group worth considering when putting together effective business strategies. Despite significant progress, our country remains divided, with opportunity still shaped by the legacy of apartheid. In particular young people and women are denied the opportunities to lead the lives that they desire. Our Constitution, which emanates from the Freedom Charter obliges all of us to tackle these challenges.

Each generation has a positive responsibility to take affirmative steps to prepare the next generation for successful economic participation. The world is on the cusp of entering a new reality in which human potential itself will become the major agent of economic growth. Young People must bring energy, talent and creativity to economies that no-one can afford to squander.

Chairperson around the world, young women and men are making important contributions as productive workers, entrepreneurs, consumers as well as members of civil society as agents of change. What our young people do today will create the foundations for what our economies will do tomorrow.

Chairperson I will speak as honestly as I can because of the respect I have for the youth of our country and because I am convinced that we will not do the right things unless we speak and act in an honest manner. The first point I would like to make is that, in reality, we have not as yet developed a sense of common nationhood. We are all South African by nationality and according to the Identity Documents and passports we carry. As a result and an expression of this, we have differing and different perceptions of one another and what being South African means.

As a result of all of this, when Nelson Mandela called on all of us to develop and adhere to a new patriotism, there could not be an immediate mass response because the common and unifying answer to the question what shall I be patriotic about was not easy to come by.

If you are a black South African, you are most likely to have welcomed the end of apartheid rule in our country in 1994 with great enthusiasm. You would have seen this as an historic fact of liberation, indeed opening up the prospect of a better life.

If you are a white South African, you are most likely to have welcomed this change with a certain degree of unease. Some would have wondered whether they, their families and properties were safe from black hordes that might go on the rampage.

Our country faces many problems and challenges we accept. But it also has the advantage of many opportunities to achieve the common objective we all pursue of transforming itself into a common homeland that we can all be proud of.

To transform those opportunities and possibilities into a positive reality requires that all of us, black and white South Africans, the young and the old, act together for the realisation of the goal of a better life for all.

Chairperson, unemployment in youth has been shown to have lifelong effects on income and employment stability, because affected young people start out with weaker early-career credentials, and show lower confidence and resilience in dealing with labour market opportunities and setbacks over the course of their working lives.

Chairperson ANC Government adopted the National Development Plan to move South Africa towards a National Development Society, in which the vestiges of apartheid subjugation are no longer visible in the quality of life people lead and the access to basic services that they enjoy. South Africa has set itself the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, growing the economy by an average of 5,4%, and cutting the unemployment rate to 6% by 2030.

Chairperson none who have lived their whole lives in an urban environment can truly appreciate what life is like for the poor people locked in a deep rural community. The vast majority have no work and no hope of getting any work since they have a low skills base and no chance of achieving any. No work means a complete loss of dignity, little or no food, dependence on others a life of misery with nothing to look forward to.

Chairperson the ANC 53rd National Conference decided on radical economic transformation as a characteristic feature of the second phase of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). Economic transformation is not for itself, but to transform the social conditions of our people. To tackle the challenges of youth unemployment, poverty and inequality, economic growth need to be accelerated. Investment needs to be increased.

It is also important that growth ensures job creation and wealth redistribution. Statistics South Africa showed that as at September 2014, the finance, real estate and business services sector accounted for about 20.3 percent (20.3%) of South Africa's GDP.

Chairperson this is making it the largest sector of the economy followed by government at 17 percent (17%). From an employment perspective, the finance sector is the second largest employer in the economy's non - agricultural formal sector, accounting for 21.9 percent (21.9%) of non-agricultural formal jobs. The only sector with higher employment numbers is community services, predominantly government employees.

Chairperson within the private sector, the finance sector is actually the largest employer in SA. Investment management industry typically has two different types of investors or asset owners. The total assets under management in the country are estimated to be above R6 trillion. Some major fund managers dominating the scene are Old Mutual, Coronation, Allan Gray, Investec, Sanlam, Stanlib and Momentum.

Chairperson a conversation between the state and the major players in the finance sector is needed to focus on the assets being invested so as to seek the highest returns for the shareholders and support the National Development Plan. This means that the debate of radical economic transformation needs to involve the managers of these institutions as we are seeking to maximize investments by South African funds.

Chairperson large savings that have not been invested by South African institutions, the so called investment boycott need to be confronted. In turning around the economy, local funds need to be directed to the massive infrastructure programme, industrial manufacturing, involving value addition to our mineral products, agri-processing, ICT, including the opportunities brought about by the roll - out of broadband, small business development, skills development and training of the youth.

Three entities control the allocation of approximately 90 percent (90%) of the South African retirement industry assets. These are Alexander Forbes, RisCura and Towers Watson.

Their influence comes largely via the asset consulting function utilized by most South African pension funds. This dominance in market share renders the three entities the de facto kingmakers in the South African investment management space.

Chairperson we should not wonder why inequality escalates. The instability in a democratic dispensation will not only be caused by the poverty of all South Africans but by the injustice of escalating inequality. No wonder the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and increasing global voices are focusing on this issue. As South Africans we must also slaughter our own dragons. These are some of the difficult conversations South Africa must face.

Honourable Chairperson our goal is clear, we want to have a country where millions more South Africans have decent work, greater employment opportunities, modern infrastructure, a vibrant economy where the quality of life is high.

Chairperson let us all work together towards the attainment of the total development of not only our country but for all South Africans, where all young people can realise and exercise their full potential. Together we have a responsibility to work hard to make this a reality. The advert of colonialism, capitalism and apartheid in South Africa has subjected young people to adverse political, social, cultural and economic conditions which define their existence. Capitalist oppression and patriarchy lineation and ideological domination by the bourgeoisie suppress youth potential for development.

In conclusion Hon members especially to Hon, TD Jakes once said" if you think down, you will go down, if you think up, you will go up, you will always travel in the direction of your thinking. Your words will tell others what you think and your actions will tell them what you believe."

I thank you

     
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