March 2016 SoNA Special Edition

Empowering our youth

Written by Amukelani Chauke

State of the Nation Address

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has created over 11 000 jobs over the past three years through various initiatives.

The National Youth Development Agency has created more than 11 000 jobs over the past three years.This is according to Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela.

He said the NYDA had also provided 3 242 young men and women with grants of between R10 000 and R100 000 over the last three years during the current board’s tenure.

“As part of the NYDA’s partnerships with other government departments, the agency has supported young people to gain access to farming opportunities,” said Deputy Minister during the debate of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.

This includes assistance given to Neo Phayane, a member of the Ramatlabama Piggery Cooperative in a village in the North West just outside of Mafikeng. Together with his 11 peers, Phanyane started operating a pig production business from one of the member’s backyard.

“The co-op was assisted by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the NYDA to lease a farm to the total value of R 1 457 124.

“There are challenges and setbacks but there are pockets of excellence throughout the country which illustrates that, as you are preoccupied with changing the ruling party, we are more focused on changing the lives of the majority of our people,” he said.

The Deputy Minister said, meanwhile, that since the launch of the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Programme by the President in 2014, more than 500 young people have received scholarships.

“One of them, Anele Pike, is studying LLB at the University of the Western Cape and she matriculated from Outeniqua High School in George.

Keeping communities safe

The Deputy Minister has called on communities to be active in the fight against crime.

 “The National Development Plan calls for the promotion and encouragement of an active citizenry. 

“In this regard we have prioritised the establishment of Community Safety Forums (CSFs) to serve as platforms for the coordination, integration and monitoring of implementation of multi-sectorial crime prevention- and community safety initiatives,” he said during the debate of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address.

According to latest police statistics, over the last ten years, government has been able to reduce reported contact crime by about 18 percent from 750 440 in 2005/6 to 616 973 in 2014/15. 

In the same period, murders and attempted murders declined by three per cent and 18 percent respectively. Similarly sexual offences (inclusive of rape and attempted rape) as well as assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm have evinced a reduction in the levels by 20 percent and 19 percent correspondingly.

The Deputy Minister said the country is currently faced with an unacceptable levels of serious and violent crime.

 “Criminal conduct such as the destruction of private and public property cannot be tolerated and must be dealt with harshly by our law enforcement agencies.

“In this regard government has prioritised the enhancement of the capacity and competencies of the Public Order Policing Unit of the SAPS, ensuring that areas afflicted by protests accompanied by violence are stabilised. 

“In addition our focus is on increasing the rate of detection of these crimes as we as to prosecute the perpetrators thereof,” he said.

National Day against racism

During his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma emphasised the need to fight the scourge of racism. He said this year’s Human Rights Day will be used to commemorate a national day against racism.

The Deputy Minister said racism has taken the form of economic exploitation, social exclusion and continues to divide millions of South Africans.

“It is important that we mobilise all South Africans in this important fight,” he said.

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