Message of Support for the NYDA from Honourable Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, MP, in Kimberley

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13 Jun 2014

Honourable Deputy Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Zou Kota-Fredericks;

Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Yershan Pillay;

Young people present;

Members of the media

Good morning

The 2014 Youth Day is highly significant as 38 years have passed sinced what we called the Soweto uprising but really took place throughout the country.

It is also 20 years of freedom in South Africa since the first democratic elections were held in 27 April 1994.

From the 20 Year Review it is clear that South Africa has made significant progress in youth development since 1994 – whilst there are many challenges that still persist.

At the same time the National Youth Development Plan indicates that youth bear the brunt of unemployment.

This stark reality means that our future depends on youth development and on bridging the gap between rich and poor and building a more inclusive and egalitarian society.

Therefore we would like to congratulate the NYDA for initiating this project to present geysers to youth headed households.

We would like to congratulate the Department of Human Settlements on their projects to help youth build houses.

We know that youth unemployment is a huge challenge in our society.

Without our youth being able to sustain their livelihoods, we shall not have a productive and prosperous future.

Without our youth having access to clean water, dignified sanitation and proper health care, we shall not be able to sustain ourselves as a South African nation.

These initiatives will go a long way in laying the foundations for a happy and dynamic future ensuring that the youth of today will be the history makers of tomorrow.

It was our great Leader and late President, Tata Nelson Mandela, who in August 1970 in a letter from prison, said:

“The anchor of my dreams is the collective wisdom of mankind [humankind] as a whole.

I am influenced more than ever before by the conviction that social equality is the only basis of human happiness. It is around these issues that my thoughts revolve.

They are centred on humans, the ideas for which they strive; on the new world that is emerging; the new generation that declares total war against all forms of cruelty, against any social order that upholds economic privilege for a minority and that condemns the mass of the population to poverty and disease, illiteracy and the host of evils that accompany a stratified society.”

These initiatives and youth empowerment programmes are geared, indeed in the words of Tata Mandela, to fight for our humanity, to build a humane society, to establish a new world for our youth and to allow this new generation to fulfil their mission.

As the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), we have also initiated a number of youth related programmes that complement the efforts of other Departments and agencies, thus engendering active citizenship and civic engagement.

Our work is to enable that the houses that you build and the geysers that you install are part of creative, public spaces filled with laughter and art and that they become loving and cherished homes.

Our arts and culture programmes are intended to encourage and nurture a new generation of South Africans who love life and see the world in which they live through art and create beauty through words, music, design, small businesses, gardens, cooking and huge industries that enable us to live our lives to the full.

Our Public Art Development Programme is designed to address the divided nature of public space in South Africa through artworks, through encouraging social dialogue and stimulating ideas at community level.

The programme uses the arts to improve environments within public spaces, such as schools, hospitals and chosen sites.

Together as government and agencies let us all play our parts in making our communities vibrant and exciting cultural and artistic spaces for our youth where all their dreams can be fulfilled.

Let me once more congratulate the National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Human Settlements for the good work!

I thank you.