Youth should participate in all matters

“The youth need to retrospect and advance the gains made by the youth of 1976 who went on the streets to combat the apartheid system imposed by the past regime at schools.” This was the view expressed by Ms Refiloe Kubyana when she delivered the keynote address at the Blouberg youth summit on Saturday at the Helena Frans school. “This event left a mark in the history of South Africa and even beyond its borders. This legacy becomes important to our lives as it serves as guiding tool to the life of an African people. History may not give us another chance if we don’t take care of this legacy left to us,” said Kubyana. She said premier Sello Moloto made a plea to all youth of Limpopo to participate in all youth structures and even in government programmes. He also urged youth to offer hands in volunteering to reconstruct their communities. “As government we are conscious about challenges faced by young people. The enemy of the youth of today is amongst others, unemployment, poverty and HIV / AIDS. In terms of unemployment statistics of young people in the Limpopo Province, 49 percent of our youth are without jobs. It is a serious challenge which needs all our efforts to ensure that we overcome this tremendous gap,” the mayor said. She said it is up to the young people to ensure that the skills that they acquired either through tertiary institutions, SITA and national youth service programmes are effectively and wisely utilized to avoid crime related activities. “You are the fortunate generation than your peers of 1976, because they did not test and enjoy the fruits of democracy. Our country has now a lot of opportunities which need young people to seize them. “We as council of Blouberg have also a passion for youth development. We have the Mayor’s bursary fund which intends to financially assist matriculants coming from highly poverty stricken families. We have budgeted an amount of R120 thousands for this purpose”. She said the municipality has also set aside R100 thousands for the special focus programmes during 2007 / 08 financial year. This fund will assist young people, children, older persons, and disabled people. “At the same time, we acknowledge that enough has not yet been done for youth development. As you are still going to elect the leadership of Blouberg Local Youth Council I urge all participants to actively take part for the benefit of this summit. This conference must yield a good and quality leadership that will take the youth forward,” concluded Kubyana. Dan Sematla was elected as chairperson of the Blouberg youth council and Sello Mafikeng as vice chairperson.