13 February 2013
IFP Youth Brigade National Chairperson and
Member of Parliament Mkhuleko Hlengwa is outlining his
expectations of the State of the Nation address by President Zuma, which will be delivered on Thursday, 14 February 2013.
There are two top issues that we in the IFPYB
will be looking for in the State of the Nation address tomorrow.
If they are not adequately dealt with it will simply reinforce
the notion that the gap between this administration and the
grassroots is growing daily.
For IFP youth and indeed all the youth of
South Africa the two top issues are JOBS & EDUCATION. The youth
needs both skilled and unskilled jobs and a huge investment into
the quality of South Africa's education needs to be made
We also need a President who is not now going
to bow down to sectoral pressure. We have a situation of the
Youth Wage Subsidy that has been stopped because the president
bows down to pressure of unions. The time to implement the Youth
Wage Subsidy is now. The continued delay in implementing the
Youth Wage Subsidy compounds the problem of unemployment,
inequality and poverty further. The president should also have a
forceful stand about the NYDA, particularly about the absence of
the board of directors.
The IFP declares 2013 the year that government
should make significant change in the quality of education in
our country. We will, therefore, be watching very closely to see
what kind of priority President Zuma and his administration will
give to education in his state of the nation address and will
also look to see how the budgeting process supports it.
We are not fooled by the public relations
hullabaloo created over the increase of the 2012 matric pass
rate. While we welcome all and any improvement in the matric
results we still question its quality. Did these passes got
learners admitted in universities, are they going to allow them
to excel in their studies and their careers of choice or will it
serve as an albatross, weighing them down as they struggle to
participate and compete?
How many learners actually passed maths and
science, as these subjects are needed for engineers, doctors,
etc., which are in shortage.
Our schools need to be better resourced,
educators need to be rewarded with better employment packages
and conditions of employment and learners need to be given every
opportunity to excel.
Texts books must be delivered in all the
schools on time. Last year we had a huge saga by the Department
of Education in Limpopo where textbooks were not delivered in
schools and it seems like this year too there is an issue with
textbooks that are not delivered in some schools in Limpopo. The
President must address this issue we do not need another crisis
Children should not have an empty stomach at
school and no child should have to walk long and dangerous
distances to school every morning.
It must be made sure that children have a quality meal at
school and not simply a slice of bread and cup of soup. They
should also have reliable transport to and from school which is
also a system that actually creates jobs.
All we want to hear about in the state of the
nation address regarding job creation is how this administration
is going to create jobs, jobs and more jobs. We will not be
satisfied with anything less.
We need to create a conducive environment for
businesses to create jobs and for businesses to stimulate
economic growth and economic development.
Infrastructure development is part of creating
a conducive environment, and parallel to that skills development
and a healthy education system which responds to the interests
and the needs of the job market is part of that conducive
environment. Quality education is part and parcel of assisting
the economy to create jobs.
Many young people are still unemployed - some
are sitting at home with qualifications that the job market does
not need. Where the job market is falling short there are no
skilled people to fill in the vacancies.
Therefore, the youth should be made aware of
the fields that are short of professionals so that they can seek
to study in those fields.
Young people need jobs so government needs to
spend less energy on funding of road-shows and public relation,s
and instead spend more on ensuring that our youth are working.
No government tender at national, provincial
or municipal level should be granted without specifying how many
new jobs it will create for the youth and for how long.
All 2013 budgets (national and provincial) and
IDP processes must specifically state how many new jobs will be
created during its budget cycle and should not be approved
without this provision.
This administration must step up its research
and investment into the creation of green jobs, in particular,
to ensure that the youth of South Africa are not left millions
of "green" miles behind in the development of this vital
We are waiting and watching and hope that the
2013 state of the nation address will prove to be youth-friendly
with emphasis on quality, affordable education and jobs, jobs
and more jobs for all.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFPYB National Chairperson
083 871 2711