Minister Nathi Mthethwa launched the Young Patriots Programme

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25 Nov 2016

Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa launched the Young Patriots Programme at Freedom Park, Pretoria on the 25th of November 2016. The programme is supported by the Department of Arts and Culture through National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

The key objective of the programme is to conscientious youth about our national identity and culture, and to create job opportunities for youth within the arts, culture and heritage sector. Through the National Youth Development Agency, the Department of Arts and Culture has begun a process of recruiting 300 young people to participate on the Young Patriots Programme.

The Young Patriots Programme acknowledges the role played by young people during the struggle for liberation and to ensure that young people today, are involved in social cohesion and nation building initiatives.

Government carries a responsibility to instil confidence and pride amongst the youth by educating young people about their history, heritage and the role played by other young people in the struggle for national liberation and thereby inculcating a sense of appreciating the South African democracy today.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa reflected that: "As government we encourage you to write your own stories. Most people don't know beyond their grandparents. It's our duty is to understand where we come from...We need to know that as South Africans we are on a journey spiritually and intellectually to finish what we started."

"We have to know our signs and our symbols -  we should know our constitution and our flag," said Minister Mthethwa. "There were generations of youth before you. Those youth confronted those tasks- youth of 40s, 60s, 70s." he added.

He further pointed out that the pain caused by racism - wherever it raises its ugly head it must be fought with rigour. In our social networks, we must mobilize as there will be no new nation if there is still racism. “We are not unique. Many have written about this scourge of racism. Ours is to build a non racial South Africa and to unify our society. We need a space to co-exist. Any intolerance is violent. Violence is costly and unnecessary as the great leader, Julius Nyerere, said,” Minister Mthethwa stated. 

He concluded with a call to action that the energy of young people should be harnessed positively and progressively. “We are on the right track to ensure that the youth of today are the caring youth. This is your space. Ensure that our culture and heritage is protected in your hands. And our culture is encapsulated in a very important value of our society - Ubuntu. It is our very essence as Africans - caring & sharing...We believe that you will go out with vigour to execute these tasks and deepen the national consciousness," said Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Media enquiries: Ms Zimasa Velaphi, 072 575 1994 or Teresa Magidela, 060 601 7724