Media release

Ministers urge young people to be agents of positive social and economic transformation in Africa

25 May 2017

25 May 2017

Africa is blessed with a young population that has the potential to be a catalyst for positive change as well as social and economic transformation on the continent, said Communications Minister, Ayanda Dlodlo during an address to students at the False Bay TVET College in Khayelitsha, Cape Town earlier today.

Minister Dlodlo’s address, with the theme ‘Building a Better Africa and a Better World', was particularly poignant as it was delivered amid Africa Day celebrations across the continent, and a few days before the start of Youth Month in South Africa - which is observed in June.

Africa has the youngest population globally. The IMF forecasts that by 2035, Sub-Saharan Africans reaching working age population (15-64), will exceed that of the rest of the world combined, thus bringing about potentially significant implications for economic growth, investment and social development.

“Africa is alive with opportunities. The continent is endowed with natural resources and opportunities in sectors such as agriculture. Young people must get out of their comfort zones, explore the continent and make a meaning contribution towards bringing about sustainable development in Africa,” she added.

Minister Dlodlo also took the opportunity to address the issue of gender-based violence. Calling on men to respect women, Minister Dlodlo said she grew up at a time when men did not prey on children and women. “Although there was patriarchy in our communities, men respected women,” she added. “We need to embrace the old saying that a child belongs to a community. As men and women, we have a duty to nurture young boys and ensure that they are exposed to positive role models that can teach them about self-respect and self-love, so that they in turn are able to nurture, love and respect others.”

Minister Dlodlo urged the youth to familiarise themselves with the teachings of leaders such as OR Tambo, Chris Hani and Steve Biko. 

“The youth cannot afford to disappoint Africa because they are the generation that will take this continent forward,” she added.

In a similar vein, Deputy Minister Tandi Mahambehlala took part in a round table discussion on nation building with the young people of Philippi at Intsebenziswano Senior Secondary School, Cape Town. The dialogue focused on the values of O.R. Tambo, particularly in relation to building a better Africa and a better world for all.

The Deputy Minister emphasised that nation building is anchored on the youth. “Young people are the future of the country and continent,” she said, adding that she would ensure that the  issues that they raised would receive the necessary attention.

Meanwhile, South Africans are urged to listen to the tabling of the Department of Communications Budget Vote tomorrow in Parliament, which will commence at 10am. Minister Dlodlo and Deputy Minister Mahambehlala will unpack the budget which will be utilised to implement the department’s mandate and meet strategic targets.

This information-sharing process enables the department to articulate key programmes for the coming year and demonstrates its commitment to serving the needs of South African public through concrete and measurable objectives.

Members of the public are encouraged to watch or tune into their favourite station covering the Budget Vote. Citizens can also further join in the conversation by using hashtag: #CommsBudgetVote.

Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by Government Communication and Information System

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