Item 771 - Press release by the Office of the Executive Deputy President: President reiterates support for Youth Commission

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Press release by the Office of the Executive Deputy President: President reiterates support for Youth Commission


  • 1997-10-14 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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South African Government Information website

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Support for National Youth Commission

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  • English

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President Mandela has come out in support of the work of the National Youth Commission. Speaking at a news briefing following a meeting with Commission in his Pretoria office this morning, the President said the commission and its work was central to efforts designed to address the needs and issue of South African youth. " The Youth Commission is important to South Africa" said Mandela. "I will continue to study their work and engage with them whenever necessary on issues of national concern".

Led by its chairperson, Mahlengi Bhengu, the NYC delegation met with the President
to president and discuss aspects of the organisation's annual report.

The report reveals that plans for a South African national youth service before the turn of the century are proceeding, identifying the endeavour as one of the NYC's key projects set for 1998 finalisation. The idea of a National Youth Service has been raised by non-government organisations before, but this report is the first clear indication that government is seriously investigating its feasibility.

Benghu said that although the Youth Service project appeared to have generated the most public interest, it nevertheless remained only one of a range of programmes and initiatives demanding the NYC's attention over the year. " it would be fair to say that our overriding task this year has been to initiate and manage the national process of consultation amongst youth and youth organisations in support of shaping South Africa's first national youth policy proposal, "she said. " Despite our self-imposed year-end timetable for producing that proposal, we have nevertheless managed to proceed with regard to other projects detailed in the report." She attributed the commission's work progress to both the diligence of Commissioners who had worked through a significant part of the year without support staff - and the recent appointment of a small contingent of competent support professionals.

The NYC report highlight the achievement of a number of work targets arising from the Commission's mandates in terms of the 1996 National Youth Commission Act.

Prominent among these include:

* organising the National Youth Summit - independently hailed as a historic event, bringing together as it did over 200 delegates from every significant national-level youth and youth-interest organisation to chart the road towards South Africa's first
national youth policy;
* planning and implementing a comprehensive national and provincial youth consultation process in support of the national youth policy, incorporation at least two rural youth hearing and one major organisational summit in each province;
* establishing for the first - time in government, the interdepartmental Committee on youth, which will not only serve as the springboard for the implementation of the final youth policy, but serves to promote uniformity of approach with regard to government youth strategies with a specific view to avoid duplication through a cost sharing rationalisation of these programmes;
* initiation a series of issues-based specialist " sectoral" summits (in the areas of economic-participation; health; social conflict; juvenile justice; education; communication & technology; environment & tourism) in support of the youth policy;
* conceptually developing (in partnership with Telkom, the CSIR and others) the high-tech youth-line Information Services Project, preliminary set for launch in June 1998;
* initiating and developing the concept of a national youth-service programme for possible implementation before the turn of the century.

The act makes it very clear what this Commission has to do," said Bhengu. "Our work proceeds strictly in accordance with these mandates and should remain the only relevant criteria by which we are measured."

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information website. Accessioned on 15/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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