Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape Province, Ms Sylvia Lucas on the occasion of the Opening Ceremony of the Fifth National Youth Camp at 3 South African Infantry Battalion, Roodepan, Kimberley

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Programme Directors,
MEC of Social Development, Mr Gift van Staden
Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatjie, Cllr Mangaliso Matika
Officer Commanding the South African Infantry Battalion, Colonel Mantshiyane and Senior Members of the SANDF present,
Deputy Director-General for Community Development, Mr Peter Netshipale
The Youth of South Africa from across all corners of South Africa,
Ladies and Gentlemen

Sanibonani, Dumelang, Good morning, Goeie more, Avuxeni, Ndaa, Molweni,

It is indeed a great honour for me to be part of this auspicious occasion which marks the official opening of the Fifth National Youth Camp and to deliver the key message on behalf of my comrade and colleague, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, who unfortunately could not join us here today because of other pressing national matters in Parliament. 

Minister Dlamini has promised that she will be part of the closing ceremony on the 12th December. I am very pleased to see so many dedicated young people participating in this camp. You have been chosen to be part of this camp for a reason and I hope you will embrace this unique opportunity with both hands and learn as much as you can so that you can plough back and empower fellow young people as well as your peers when you return to your respective communities.

As Government, our mandate is to support young people and youth organisations in developing equal opportunities for every young person to play a meaningful role in their immediate communities and country at large. Participation is a right that all young people should be able to enjoy and it helps to ensure that the values of democracy and human rights that our forbearers like Sol Plaatjie, Nelson Mandela, Lillian Ngoyi, Dorothy Nyembe, Francis Baard and Charlotte Maxeke fought and espoused to in our Constitution are passed on from one generation to the next.

As Government, the National Youth Camp carries a very special place in our youth development initiatives because it is an incubator for developing our next generation of leaders.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is therefore no coincidence that an initiative of this nature takes place here in the Northern Cape Province, and in particular in the city that sparkles and is named after one of the outstanding stalwarts of our liberation struggle and the first Secretary and founding member of the African Native Congress, later renamed the African National Congress (ANC) - Solomon Tshekisho Plaatjie.

Our mandate remains to support young people and youth organisations in developing equal opportunities for every young person to play their full part in all aspects of our society. Participation is a right that all young people should be able to enjoy and it helps to ensure that the values of democracy and human rights are passed on from one generation to the next. This is a very good initiative guided by the theme; “hash tag (#) 4OYearsOn, Youth Still Moving South Africa forward.”

This is a clarion call for you and your peers to work together in partnership with Government at all spheres to move South Africa forward as envisioned in the National Development Plan (Vision 2030). On an occasion such as this, it is appropriate to remember the moving words of Frantz Fanon: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity”.

We therefore view the Youth Camp as essential for assisting our young people to discover their own mission of building inclusive and stable South African society, which is why you are here today and in the next coming days.

Worldwide, including here in South Africa, young people make up a great number of our population. This is called demographic dividend. You are a driving force behind change. Despite this, young people remain a vulnerable and marginalized demographic group.

I want to assure you that our Government is working hard to empower you and your peers across the country to tackle the challenges you face in your daily lives. The National Youth Camp is one such initiative. So, as activists, as youth leaders, as learners and students, you must help us to ensure that we are creating and advocating the right methods and policies for developing and empowering young people.

Young men and women, youth participation is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity, and where necessary, the support to participate in and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities, so as to contribute to building a better South Africa.

It is in this regard that we must always urge our youth to boldly take the lead from where the leaders of our struggle would have positively directed. We therefore take this opportunity to call on our young people across the country to desist from violence that we have witnessed in the last few months and rather show the world that young people can sharply raise their views and concerns in a peaceful and non-violent manner.

Our Government is not oblivious to your struggles. We acknowledge your fears, issues, concerns and challenges you are faced with as a young generation.  These issues range from youth unemployment, lack of education and skills, the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse, HIV and AIDS, and teenage pregnancy, to name but a few.

The youth are at the heart of our Government programmes. The National Youth Policy 2020 emphasises the need for responsive youth initiatives that address key areas that impact on youth development agenda, economic participation and empowerment, transformation, education, skills development and reproductive health and rights, amongst others.

Guided by the National Youth Policy and the Integrated Youth Development Strategy, our Government has already created a number of opportunities for youth development and empowerment which the youth should take advantage of. Among these is enhanced access to education at basic and tertiary levels, the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the internship programme, the Entrepreneurship Development Programme run by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund. Government has opened new universities one here in the Northern Cape and one in Mpumalanga and continues to expand and modernise the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges across the country.

Young men and women, we meet here today at a time when the country is joining with the rest of the globe to observe the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children. As agents of change, you have the power in your hands, both at an individual and collective level, to effect positive change in our efforts to end violence against women and children. I challenge you today to commit yourself to become ambassadors of the transformative and positive change in your communities. PLAY YOUR PART and root out violence against women and children, including gender based violence.

We appeal to you not to turn a blind eye when you witness any form of violence. Please contact the social workers and police in your community or call Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) - a 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence.

This Gender Based Violence Command Centre was established by the Department of Social Development to provide professional trauma and counselling support to victims of gender based violence. 

The toll-free number to call for assistance is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV).  Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

As we gather here today, we are officially in the festive season and we appeal to all our young people to exercise great responsibility and celebrate in a happy, healthy and safe way. It is important to remember that you can have a great time without drinking alcohol or using drugs. You are our beacons of hope and the future of this country and we wish you all the best with your future endeavours.

As I conclude; I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this fifth national youth camp; especially; members of the South African National Defence, the officials of the Department of Social Development at both National and Provincial levels. 

I wish all of you a blessed Christmas, as well as peace and joy over the holidays. May the Lord bring you joy and preserve and protect you!

It is now my singular honour and privilege to declare the 2016 National Youth Camp officially open.

Thank you! Ke a leboga! Baie Dankie! Ngi Ya Bonga! Ndi Ya Bulela! Enkosi! Ke A Leboga!

Programme Directors,
MEC of Social Development, Mr Gift van Staden
Executive Mayor of Sol Plaatjie, Cllr Mangaliso Matika
Officer Commanding the South African Infantry Battalion, Colonel Mantshiyane and Senior Members of the SANDF present,
Deputy Director-General for Community Development, Mr Peter Netshipale
The Youth of South Africa from across all corners of South Africa,
Ladies and Gentlemen

Sanibonani, Dumelang, Good morning, Goeie more, Avuxeni, Ndaa, Molweni,

It is indeed a great honour for me to be part of this auspicious occasion which marks the official opening of the Fifth National Youth Camp and to deliver the key message on behalf of my comrade and colleague, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, who unfortunately could not join us here today because of other pressing national matters in Parliament. 

Minister Dlamini has promised that she will be part of the closing ceremony on the 12th December. I am very pleased to see so many dedicated young people participating in this camp. You have been chosen to be part of this camp for a reason and I hope you will embrace this unique opportunity with both hands and learn as much as you can so that you can plough back and empower fellow young people as well as your peers when you return to your respective communities.

As Government, our mandate is to support young people and youth organisations in developing equal opportunities for every young person to play a meaningful role in their immediate communities and country at large. Participation is a right that all young people should be able to enjoy and it helps to ensure that the values of democracy and human rights that our forbearers like Sol Plaatjie, Nelson Mandela, Lillian Ngoyi, Dorothy Nyembe, Francis Baard and Charlotte Maxeke fought and espoused to in our Constitution are passed on from one generation to the next.

As Government, the National Youth Camp carries a very special place in our youth development initiatives because it is an incubator for developing our next generation of leaders.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is therefore no coincidence that an initiative of this nature takes place here in the Northern Cape Province, and in particular in the city that sparkles and is named after one of the outstanding stalwarts of our liberation struggle and the first Secretary and founding member of the African Native Congress, later renamed the African National Congress (ANC) - Solomon Tshekisho Plaatjie.

Our mandate remains to support young people and youth organisations in developing equal opportunities for every young person to play their full part in all aspects of our society. Participation is a right that all young people should be able to enjoy and it helps to ensure that the values of democracy and human rights are passed on from one generation to the next. This is a very good initiative guided by the theme; “hash tag (#) 4OYearsOn, Youth Still Moving South Africa forward.”

This is a clarion call for you and your peers to work together in partnership with Government at all spheres to move South Africa forward as envisioned in the National Development Plan (Vision 2030). On an occasion such as this, it is appropriate to remember the moving words of Frantz Fanon: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity”.

We therefore view the Youth Camp as essential for assisting our young people to discover their own mission of building inclusive and stable South African society, which is why you are here today and in the next coming days.

Worldwide, including here in South Africa, young people make up a great number of our population. This is called demographic dividend. You are a driving force behind change. Despite this, young people remain a vulnerable and marginalized demographic group.

I want to assure you that our Government is working hard to empower you and your peers across the country to tackle the challenges you face in your daily lives. The National Youth Camp is one such initiative. So, as activists, as youth leaders, as learners and students, you must help us to ensure that we are creating and advocating the right methods and policies for developing and empowering young people.

Young men and women, youth participation is about having the right, the means, the space and the opportunity, and where necessary, the support to participate in and influence decisions and engage in actions and activities, so as to contribute to building a better South Africa.

It is in this regard that we must always urge our youth to boldly take the lead from where the leaders of our struggle would have positively directed. We therefore take this opportunity to call on our young people across the country to desist from violence that we have witnessed in the last few months and rather show the world that young people can sharply raise their views and concerns in a peaceful and non-violent manner.

Our Government is not oblivious to your struggles. We acknowledge your fears, issues, concerns and challenges you are faced with as a young generation.  These issues range from youth unemployment, lack of education and skills, the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse, HIV and AIDS, and teenage pregnancy, to name but a few.

The youth are at the heart of our Government programmes. The National Youth Policy 2020 emphasises the need for responsive youth initiatives that address key areas that impact on youth development agenda, economic participation and empowerment, transformation, education, skills development and reproductive health and rights, amongst others.

Guided by the National Youth Policy and the Integrated Youth Development Strategy, our Government has already created a number of opportunities for youth development and empowerment which the youth should take advantage of. Among these is enhanced access to education at basic and tertiary levels, the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the internship programme, the Entrepreneurship Development Programme run by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund. Government has opened new universities one here in the Northern Cape and one in Mpumalanga and continues to expand and modernise the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges across the country.

Young men and women, we meet here today at a time when the country is joining with the rest of the globe to observe the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children. As agents of change, you have the power in your hands, both at an individual and collective level, to effect positive change in our efforts to end violence against women and children. I challenge you today to commit yourself to become ambassadors of the transformative and positive change in your communities. PLAY YOUR PART and root out violence against women and children, including gender based violence.

We appeal to you not to turn a blind eye when you witness any form of violence. Please contact the social workers and police in your community or call Gender Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) - a 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence.

This Gender Based Violence Command Centre was established by the Department of Social Development to provide professional trauma and counselling support to victims of gender based violence. 

The toll-free number to call for assistance is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV).  Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.

As we gather here today, we are officially in the festive season and we appeal to all our young people to exercise great responsibility and celebrate in a happy, healthy and safe way. It is important to remember that you can have a great time without drinking alcohol or using drugs. You are our beacons of hope and the future of this country and we wish you all the best with your future endeavours.

As I conclude; I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this fifth national youth camp; especially; members of the South African National Defence, the officials of the Department of Social Development at both National and Provincial levels. 

I wish all of you a blessed Christmas, as well as peace and joy over the holidays. May the Lord bring you joy and preserve and protect you!

It is now my singular honour and privilege to declare the 2016 National Youth Camp officially open.

Thank you! Ke a leboga! Baie Dankie! Ngi Ya Bonga! Ndi Ya Bulela! Enkosi! Ke A Leboga!
 

Northern Cape Office of the Premier
Physical address of Head Office
JW Sauer Building
Corner of Roper and Quinn Streets
Private Bag x5016
Kimberley
8300

Contact Telephone Numbers
053 8382600

Email Addresses
ZLangeveldt@ncpg.gov.za
cynthiaJoseph@ncpg.gov.za
pmathakgane@ncpg.gov.za(Ministry)
BThomas-Abrahams@ncpg.gov.za(Ministry)

 

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