eMalahleni SAYC task team wants structure to hold mining companies accountable

The temporary structure says they also want to get the NYDA to wake up from its slumber and commit to meaningful youth economic development.

A task team established to launch a South African Youth Council structure in the eMalahleni sub-region says the whole aim is to get the numerous companies operating in the area to account for youth empowerment.

Called SAYC task team or STT, the 6-members team was launched on 29 August 2018 and wants the youth to be organised in how they tackle their own poverty, unemployment and inequalities.

Scriber Thobile Nhlapho said they were concerned that eMalahleni was the province’s economic hub yet the people of the area languish in poverty with the youth having resorted to smoking Nyaope and other dangerous substances because they are not getting any help from anyone.

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She said it was shocking that the area was so rich in terms of what the mines contribute to its GDP but don’t even have a single drug rehabilitation centre.

“Youth recreational centres are falling apart. Look at the tennis court in the area, it’s no longer there basically. But the mines are here.

“We have a problem of two or three people being made filthy rich by the same mining companies and leaving a whole lot of people to languish in poverty. That is what SAYC will have to address, the time for that is now,” he said.

She said SAYC is formed by people who come from different youth formations, such as DA Youth, ANCYL, YCL, Cosas and non-profit youth organisations as well as church associations.

“The war we are faced with of fighting our own poverty and economic exclusion demands that we organise ourselves as young people. We can’t just be scattered all over the place without an agenda of how we plan to fight for inclusive participation in our own economy,” Nhlapho said.

They say they are preparing to launch the structure in two or three weeks’ time and will make formal communications on it.

“Also the National Youth Development Agency they have an office here in eMalahleni, we want to see what they are doing in bringing about meaningful change to the lives of the poor,” she said.

(edited by MLM)

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SAYC defends NYDA, says agency budget “too small”

They addressed the media over the weekend after their executive committee meeting.

The South African Youth Council (SAYC) in the Mpumalanga province has come to the defence of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), saying the agency should not be blamed as its budget is “too small”.

After meeting for its provincial executive committee in eMalahleni over the weekend, the youth body says ” it’s an insult” to expect the NYDA to function with the current budget of “less than R400 million”.

“That is too small,” SAYC chairman Sam Masango told the media in Klipfontein on Sunday afternoon.

“Even if South Africans wanted NYDA to change the lives of the youths in the country it’s impossible,” Masango said.

SAYC defends NYDA, says agency budget "too small"

Army Mashaba (L), Sam Masango (C) and Muziwakhe Thabethe. PIC MfisoDIGITAL/MLM.

“You cannot say that on a less than R400 million you think NYDA will cater for the 63% of young people and as government you accept it. It’s an insult. An utter insult to the youth,” said Masango.

He addressed the media together with spokesman Army Mashaba and secretary Muziwakhe Thabethe.

They said as the youth council they will no longer “bury [their] heads in the sands” and will definitely organise the youths across the province by forming branches everywhere.

“Now as a council we have a responsibility to relocate ourselves or reposition our thinking because it is only us who can liberate ourselves from this current crisis.

“That is why when you wake up in the morning you find people creating new structures and say they represent young people while we as SAYC are existing and we have been existing since 1997,” he said.

He said they are tired of summits – that when they demand practical actions in dealing with the youth unemployment crisis government leaders “come and say, ‘look, we will convene a summit. We don’t want a summit. We are now allergic to summits,” he said.

“As a council, practical action is our fundamental interest. We are at a time when we are no longer going to listen to any political statement as young people because they force us to keep being listeners. No. The matter is such serious that we will no longer listen,” said Masango.

He said unemployment is so bad that it deprives young people of marriage opportunities “because if you are unemployed you can never get marriage and that’s how serious this cancer is. It must be treated very urgently,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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