Promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging young people to become job creators rather than job seekers will be a central plank of the South African government’s National Youth Policy (NYP) 2020.
This is according to Buti Manamela, deputy minister in the Presidency, who is overseeing the development of the policy, which is currently being drafted taking into consideration the National Development Plan 2030, the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the New Growth Path and the African Youth Charter.
Manamela said the NYP 2020 will cover areas such as access to education, skills, competence development, employment and sustainable livelihoods, but will focus heavily on youth enterprise and national youth service.
“Countries such as Kenya and Namibia are doing much better in both areas, and therefore we have to learn a lot in ensuring that we turn young work seekers into creators of work by taking lessons from these countries,” he said.
He said he had already instructed the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) to streamline its functions to focus on these key areas, while adding that once the NYP 2020 was implemented all institutions of government will be required to report on a quarterly basis on whether they are meeting its targets.
“South Africa’s concept of youth development is influenced by the historical conditions that have shaped the country and its democratic goals,” Manamela said.
“Even in my late youth, I personally envision a future where young people – irrespective of their race, gender, religious affiliation, level of education or socio-economic status – will enjoy an equitable share of South Africa’s success story. The review of the NYP 2020 is the stepping stone towards this better future.”