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Local Government grateful for the fearlessness and courage of the Youth of 1976

Posted: 17 June 2016


As South Africa commemorates Youth month, it has been 40 years since that fateful June 16 of 1976. We see it befitting as local government to say THANK YOU for the fearlessness and courage of the Youth of 1976. That year, amongst others, highlighted a turning point in our history.

40 years after, what are we celebrating this month? Amidst gratitude for the heroism of the Youth of 1976, the question is: What is the role of the Youth of today? What do they stand for? During the commemoration of Youth day 20 years ago, former President Nelson Mandela stated that "...while we recognize the right to protest, I will not allow a situation in which, in the name of transformation, school property is destroyed and individual lives are threatened. This is nothing more nor less than crime, and will be dealt with as such". "We can therefore only lay claim to progress when the bulk of engineers, physicists, economists emerge from villages and townships.”

In the process of addressing poverty, homelessness, illiteracy and other social challenges in the Country our Youth is our future and important role players in decision-making on service delivery in municipal spaces by working hand in glove with local government and municipalities where they reside. As Youth, the future is in your hands. Build it through hard work today (Nelson Mandela 1996).

As we celebrate Youth day on 16 June, we must be reminded that Nelson Mandela believed in charitable work through the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. We are pleased as SALGA that, as we are advancing youth development and other portfolios through the Community Development Directorate, we are entering into a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation on 7 July 2016. Mandela's legacy must live on and be visible through our work, including youth development and participation, on a sustainable basis. As we have celebrated 15 years of Local government SALGA recommits itself, together with other spheres of government, to engage with youth agencies and participate in the implementation of youth policies. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals places an emphasis on quality education, Goal number 4. SALGA will continue to seek partnership with the UN on youth participation through the Youth Delegation Programme and the Youth Assembly.

The Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS), which is the implementation plan of the NYP 2020, has been developed with the aim of putting in place concrete programmes to confront the challenges faced by young people. Youth development cannot happen as a stand-alone but as integral to all development programmes in the Country and for this reason the adopted route is that the NYP 2020 must be implemented through the IYDS by all spheres of government.

In contributing to the NYP 2020 and the IYDS, SALGA seeks to coordinate youth focused programme in municipalities through the establishment of Youth Development Forums (YDF) as a mechanism for the institutionalisation of youth work within municipalities and the Local Government Sector.

The programme for Youth Month entails a number of activities aimed at highlighting the work of the Local Government sector in providing opportunities for the youth, educating young people about their history and heritage, communicating opportunities brought by the democratic government, while having conversations with the youth on their role towards social cohesion and nation-building.

As part of the Youth month, the Community Development Directorate is working with the Glen High School through the school’s Sport Department to create a conducive environment for participation in sports and creating awareness on HIV and AIDS. SALGAs management will address the school assembly on the advantages of participating in Sports and Recreation and Wellness and on the ABC principle (Abstain – Be faithful – Condomise) associated with HIV and AIDS. SALGA will also be handing over a soccer kit, schoolbags and stationery items to the school as a gesture of goodwill for Youth.

We salute the Youth of 1976 and the Youth of today!

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