Engagement with youth and youth business of Gert Sibande region, 12 June

Engagement with youth and youth business of Gert Sibande region, 12 June

12 June 2015

Speaking notes by Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe on the occasion of using the State Owned Companies to capacitate the Youth of South Africa

Executive Mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality

MEC for Finance and Economic Development,

CE of Transnet Freight Rail

Principal of Gert Sibande TVET College

Youth of Gert Sibande and the broader Mpumalanga province,

Leadership of students

The leadership of young people of this region

Ladies and Gentlemen

Programme Director, when information was concealed from us, young people in particular fought leading to many losing an opportunity to get learned.

When information was concentrated to benefit a particular section of the society, young people fought and June 16 today defines our history.

When information was controlled to the benefit of a few, young people rose defiantly and many were maimed as a result.

The democratic government is committed to ensuring that we do not experience a repeat of our past.

When the young people of Gert Sibande rose and pleaded for information we were obliged to respond.

We had to respond so as not to experience a repeat of our past.

I must commend the leadership of young people in this region for raising their hands on realising that something is missing.

Ours is a developmental state which requires an informed citizenry to realise its objectives.

We recognise that with concentrated information, there is no way that our people will be able to continue liberating themselves.

The SOC present today are here to share information to enable youth participation in the economy.

The National Youth Policy 2020 draft policy submits that South Africa has the potential to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality over the next two decades.

To realise this, the NDP directs the government to engage with all sectors to understand how they are contributing to its implementation.

Much is expected of the public sector in terms of training and job creation.

The South African Labour Survey provides that the number of unemployed youth under the age of 35 is double that of those above 35years and unemployed.

This is worsened by the number of able and active youth whom the economy cannot absorb.

The situation is worsened by the private which seem to be a permanent disinvestment state.

This is the most important sector in the development of any economy.

Successful economies have a private sector that recognises its role in the training and employment creation of its citizens.

We are confident that with all the policies that have been developed, towards 2030 we will have a private sector willing to partner to partner with the public sector.

As we celebrate 60 years of the Freedom Charter this year, we do so recognising the road which the generations of young people had travelled.

When leaders of the apartheid regime said there was no place for Africans above the level of certain forms of labour, they were referring to controlling training to benefit a particular section of the society.

It was all about preparing this chosen section for jobs requiring particular skill and relevant to the economy.

The Freedom Charter made a call that “All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions”.

Drawing from the same document, the Freedom Charter also provided that “Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit”.

The DPE has oversight over six state owned companies.

These are Transnet, Eskom, Denel, SAX, Alexkor and Safcol.

These companies occupy a very strategic position in the country’s economic landscape.

They are committed to ensuring that we develop a pool of disciplined young engineers, artisans and technicians.

This financial year will see a collective SOC enrolment of 5776 trainees in various skills.

From the MOU signed with the Department of Higher Education, Denel received R58 million to train 197 artisan trainees.

Eskom received R174 million to train 1250 artisans trainees while Transnet still has the 1000 trainees at their second year.

We are using the SOC to build the capacity of young people for them to participate in the economy.

Through this intervention, we are saying there will never again be a particular level of training and labour meant only for Africans.

The state owned companies operate within the communities of South Africa.

These are the very communities whom not long had information on training concentrated away from them.

They operate within the communities whom not long yearned for fully equipped schools to produce better learned leaders.

Gert Sibande the revered leader of this country was from this region.

He never had the benefit of going to school because to the government of the day, he and his generation did not matter.

Given the strategic role of the SOC, through them, the democratic government says you do matter.

Today saw the signing of the MOU between Transnet Engineering and the Gert Sibande TVET.

This MOU is meant to improve the training of both lecturers and students to realise their full potential.

The provision of mechanical and technical machinery by the SOC will serve to improve the technical ability of students of the college.

Gert Sibande never had this benefit. We have given you this benefit.

Use it to benefit the country and her people.

Through the SOC, we are responding to the call of the Freedom Charter.

I thank you.