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Empowering young people tops DA agenda
Friday 17 February 2017 09:02

“They are a lost generation, and it is to them that I dedicate my term as DA leader”, announced Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA - LI full-member), as he called attention to the plight of South Africa’s black youth ahead of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last week.

Speaking before a large audience and representatives from the media he said:"I laid out the framework of a rescue plan for this lost generation. Leading up to the national election in 2019, we will flesh out and test this plan, so that if we get into national government we can “hit the ground running” and rapidly improve their prospects." Accoridng to official statistics agency StatsSA over three million South Africans are classified as “NEETs”: youth aged between 15 and 24 who are Not in Employment, Education or Training. 

Stressing on the younger generations' enormous potential to turn South Africa's economy around he continued saying: "Young people could and should be our greatest asset; the creative and energetic force behind SA’s economic development...These are our “born frees” and yet they are not free to live the life of their choice. Unless South Africans step in and make some bold changes to the way our country is governed, very few in this group will get even close to realising their immense potential."

Among some of the most crucial factors which have led to the decline in opportunities for South Africa's youth, Maimane indicated the failing basic education system and bleak employment prospects caused by the consistently failing policies of the Zuma government.

In his concluding remarks he laid out the DA's rescue plan focusing on three key priorities for basic education: reforms in the South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU), investing heavily in existing teachers' training and the recruitment of more teachers, particularly in maths and science, and performance management imporvements in teachers and school principals.

A copy of the full speech can be found here.

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