Youth Day speech
DA leader in the Free State
As we celebrate youth day tomorrow we must remember the sacrifices of young people like Hector Peterson and also Mbuyisa Makhubo who mysteriously disappeared. We must also remember other teenagers who were forced to sacrifice two years of their lives and those who lost their lives due to forced conscription.
The DA will support any initiatives to eradicate unemployment and poverty, especially among our youth. This is crucial to ending dependency on government grants and giving young people dignity. Unemployment among our youth is a very high 45% at a narrow definition of unemployment. At the same time substance abuse, HIV and Aids, gangsterism, and prostitution among young people in the Free State is growing. Criminals are abusing the desperate circumstances that many young people find themselves in for their own selfish material ends.
For the sake of our young people, we need to focus on directing our young people away from the poverty and dependency trap. Our young people deserve to be given opportunities so that they can grow and develop to their full potential.
The DA shares a vision with millions of South Africans who want the Madiba dream of a rainbow democracy to be realized. The DA has a vision of An Open Opportunity Society For All in which citizens are equipped with the tools they need to exercise their freedom, take responsibility to use opportunities, and work hard to develop their full potential. Young people must be taught that within its diversity, South Africa is one nation, with one future, and endless potential.
The DA will continue to build on our proud and principled legacy of non-racialism and attempt to bring about reconciliation and redress for our millions of young people. Our young born free generation must realize that the DA has a path to a brighter future. All they need to do is walk along this path with the DA. We encourage our young people not to forget their past, but to vote for their future.
Speaker, Imagine a society in which a child born into the most desperate poverty can become a brain surgeon, a concert pianist or a sports hero. That is the society that the DA is working towards.
Our young South Africans who want a better life share the dream of one nation, with one future, living together under the constitution in peace, security and prosperity, with opportunity and recognition for all our rainbow people. This is the Madiba dream, the Sisulu dream, the Suzman dream, and the common dream of every young born free South African today.
In the DA’s opportunity based societies, your path in life is not determined by the circumstances of your birth, including both your material and “demographic” circumstances, but rather by your talents and by your efforts, provided that you put in the effort required to succeed, and take responsibility for your own life.
Both civil society and the state have a role to play in creating opportunity for our young people. Our youth, however, have a responsibility to make use of the opportunities on offer. Central to the opportunity society is the responsibility of the state to provide quality education for all. Without the key element of a sound education, opportunities are diminished.
There is a long history of racial and ethnic division in South Africa.
In order to transcend this past, and usher in an era in which people are judged by their character, their effort, and their contribution and not by their race, The DA encourages our young people to demand the following from their politicians:
to reject discrimination on grounds of race and other characteristics of birth;
- a clear acknowledgement that there is a long history of racial discrimination and oppression in South Africa, that this was wrong, and that positive action is now required to reconcile our nation, and
- a clear acknowledgement that all South Africans are equal and that South Africa “belongs to all who live in it”.
Where the DA governs, such as in the Western Cape Province, the City of Cape Town, Midvaal and other places throughout the country, we are already putting this vision into practice. Where the DA governs, the lives of people are improved.
Speaker, our young people are our hope for the realization of the rainbow dream in our country. We need to love, cherish, nurture, protect, and create opportunities for our young people. Any moral or material investment in our young people is an investment in a better future.
DA leader in the Free State
082 562 4120
Provincial Media Liaison Officer
082 066 5946