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JOBURG will host the provincial Youth Month celebrations where homage will be paid to the role of young people in the attainment of democracy.

MEC Lebogang maile unveils the province's Youth Month programmeMEC Lebogang Maile unveils the province's Youth Month programmeThe province launched Youth Month at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, on June 6 where a programme of events was unveiled.

The province was represented by Lebogang Maile, MEC for sport and recreation, and the Youth Development Agency by provincial chairperson Simon Molefe.

The central event of the month, on Youth Day, 16 June, will be held at Mofolo Park, Soweto.

Among those who will provide the entertainment at the event, said Maile, are eight-times SAMA winner Zahara and house music trio Mi Casa.

Youth Day, said Maile, was a day to be enjoyed by all young people, whether or not they were involved in politics. “We are trying to ensure that the event will not be about political speeches, so that even young people who are not interested to politics can enjoy the day.”

Other activities that will be hosted by Johannesburg are:

A Youth Safety Imbizo at Ivory Park Community Hall on 8 June;
Training for unemployed young people from Diepkloof, Soweto, from Joburg’s Emergency Management Services in basic first aid and fire skills and from the Johannesburg Municipal Police Department on road safety and crime prevention, alcohol and drug abuse on 14 June;
A Youth Commemoration and Substance Abuse Road Show in Freedom Park and Eldorado Park on 15 June; and
Winter safety tips and a business development programme for learners at Nokuthula Special School in Alexandra on 19 June.Sensational Zahara will perform on 16 June Sensational Zahara will perform on 16 June Maile reminded young people that those who had died in the struggle had done so for the current generation, which is now enjoying freedom. He also spoke about the challenges that confront young people, saying they should not merely be the focus in June but throughout the year.

He encouraged private sector organisations to team up with government to try to solve problems such as youth unemployment. “It must not only be the responsibility of government to find solutions for youth challenges,” he added.

On the subject of unemployment among graduates, Maile encouraged young people to start acquiring appropriate skills that will enable the country to compete globally and grow economically.

“It is encouraging that more and more young people are going to tertiary institutions but we need to look at what is it that they are studying. Is it relevant and will it help towards growing our economy?” he asked.

He commended the NYDA for its work in developing young people and condemned those who judged it harshly because they had had a bad experience. “The agency should not be judged on whether you have been helped as an individual or not,” he said.

Molefe said young people should follow the example of the youth of 1976. “They dedicated their lives for us, we therefore make sure that their efforts do not go unnoticed,” he said.

He also spoke about new ways in which the youth agency is reaching out to all young people. “We use the latest social media to communicate with young people where it gives them a platform to voice their concerns,” he said.

The NYDA is planning to start a web radio that will tackle everyday issues that bother young people.

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