Deputy Minister of Sport Mafu challenges youth to get creative

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Staff Reporter

Deputy Minister of Sport, Nocawe Mafu, paid tribute to former alumni of freedom fighters while opening a Youth Careers Expo at the University of Limpopo last Saturday.

“During Youth Month and Youth Day, we recognise a period in this country’s history where young people came together to protest the evil and unjust system of apartheid. What started in Soweto, spiralled to many other townships schools, communities and black universities in South Africa.

“It is fitting that we commemorate this day today at the University of Limpopo, which boasts alumni of freedom fighters such as Dipuo Peters, Tito Mboweni, Cassel Mathale, Reverend Frank Chikane and Mathews Phosa, to mention a few.,” she said.

“We are thankful to vice-chancellor Professor Mahlo Makgalong for partnering with our department on this day and we hope that more is to come. Another notable University of Limpopo alumni whose spirit lives forever is Ongopotse Tiro, who was an activist student on this campus, a founder member of the South African Students Organisation (SASO) and a leader of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM).

The DM said one of the moments in which Tiro displayed his fearlessness was when he delivered a speech at the University’s graduation ceremony in 1972, which sharply criticised the Bantu Education Act of 1953. The speech is known as the “Turfloop Testimony,” Mafu said.

“As we commemorate this day, we should remember him in this space fittingly named after him. We commemorate the June 16 Uprisings, which took place 48 years ago. We remember the leadership shown by the youth of 1976. We remember the lives lost in the struggle for education and a period in our history that we should dare not repeat.”

“We are also celebrating the 30 Years Freedom in South Africa, which we attribute to the youth of 1976. What can you, as the youth, do with this history, given the many issues and challenges you face, such as Unemployment and Poverty? Inequality, Crime and GBV,” added Mafu.

“Government also has interventions dedicated to upskilling young people through various government initiatives, from bursaries to learnerships, to job-opportunity programmes such the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP).

“Yet, youth in remote areas still find it difficult, if not impossible, to access these services. Similarly, gender equity will have to be considered when literacy skills programmes are being implemented, as the current studies show that a lower percentage of young women aged 15-24 are given equal opportunities compared to young men of the same age bracket.”

The DM said Programmes such as the Cultural and Creative Industries Youth Careers Expo or CCI Youth Careers Expo, which we are running for the second year, is the Department’s intervention to empower the youth in the Creative Sector.

“I challenge you after the workshop session hereafter that you create new work inspired by these national days and the leaders whose names I mentioned earlier. We have bursaries and funding available through the department and our funding agencies. This way, these National days and these heroes of our liberation do not lose their significance; they should live in our memories, and their heroic deeds should not fade away.

The Expo intends to create a platform that engages learners and creatives as job creators rather than as job seekers. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents several implications for skills development and education.

“In the seventh administration, the Government will explore policy development that is linked to the NDP’s focus on integrated development, the government’s district-based coordinated approach and implementing programmes that follow the prescripts of the National Youth Policy 2020-2030,” concluded Mafu.

INSIDE EDUCATION

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