Youth Day Debate - Youth Development In The Context Of The 2010 Soccer World Cup

Speech By Mrs. S.P. Lebenya-Ntanzi, MP

   

 

Cape Town: Wednesday, 02 June 2010

 

 

Honourable Speaker,

 

The World Cup Soccer tournament is an opportunity for successful teams of various nations of the world to display the talent of their youth. The tournament has undoubtedly become one of the premier opportunities for various nations of the world to display their national unity, cohesion and pride.

 

The 2010 World Cup takes place in our country, the first of its kind in the Continent of Africa. This is a moment of great significance and it indeed instils in all of us a great sense of pride and contentment to be able to host the world-renowned tournament.

 

Successful nations invest a lot in their youth because they realise that the youth are the future of every nation. They do not only do so in the area of sport but they do so holistically in the overall development of their youth, be it in education, skills development and training, health etc.

 

Therefore, it is important to contextualise the standard of performance of our national team, Bafana Bafana as it, truly, reflects somewhat our nation's contribution towards the development of our youth.

 

Naheng ena re theile NYDA ho etella pele matsete a naha ya rona ntshetsopeleng e phethahetseng ya batjha Aforika Borwa. Se re ngongorehisang haholo ke hore ha re eso utlwe kapa ho bona mananeo afe kapa afe a thakgotsweng ke National Youth Development Agency a reretsweng ho sebetsa le FIFA ho thakgola mananeo a ntshetsopele ya batjha.

 

This Parliament appropriates huge chunks of money towards education and the majority of the beneficiaries in this regard are the youth. Apart from this, there are other programmes across government from which youth benefit.

 

While we recognise this reality, the fact is that there is still a lot to do to enable our youth who, for no fault of their own, were bypassed by development and now need to catch up. We need to be mindful of the statistical reality that the majority of the citizens of this country are both female and young people. These two segments of our society are the most marginalised.

 

Statistics recently quoted in the Business Day are frightening that, 2.5 million youth aged 18 to 24 are neither working nor in any kind of education or training. Most have dropped out of school early, only 46% stayed in school long enough to write matric, and only 60% passed.

 

South Africa's rate of unemployment is estimated at 26%, which means that about 6 million South Africans who are able and willing to work are unemployed, and youth make up 70% of this figure.

 

The IFP feels that it is therefore important to look at what impact the 2010 World Cup will have on youth development and whether it will deliver on the hopes and dreams of the millions of unemployed young people nationwide.

 

Many critics have claimed that South Africa should have been spending more, not on expensive soccer stadia, but on more pressing issues such as eradicating poverty and fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The IFP is of the view that while the Soccer World Cup is going to create some jobs, not enough has been done to ensure that the World Cup will have a lasting effect on Youth Development in South Africa.

 

Honourable Speaker,

 

Youth development remains one of the complex challenges facing democratic South Africa. Sixteen years after transition to democracy, it is young people, who are most severely affected by negative socio- economic factors such as HIV / Aids, high level of unemployment, poverty, unplanned pregnancies and lack of participation in political and economic development processes.

 

Mothating ona, ka Mohope wa Lefatshe le kamora wona, mekga ya bohanyetsi le mekgatlo ya batjha e na le monyetla o fetang yohle e kileng ya ba teng, wa ho sebetsa mmoho ho rarolla diphephetso tseo batjha ba tobaneng le tsona naheng ya rona.

 

Ho hlokeha sebete le boitshepo ho ntshetsapele sepheo se le seng sa ho netefatsa hore batjha ba naha ena ba nka seabo ka ho lekana moruong le dipolotiking.

 

Let us therefore recognise that even though there will be some benefit for our youth through the hosting of this soccer extravaganza, we must use this opportunity to utilize the power of football to build a bright future for our youth beyond the 2010 World Cup. This is an African journey of hope. The IFP hopes that it will not only serve a strong nation-building effort but that it will refocus our efforts on the urgent need for youth development.

 

Ha ke diela dikgala, IFP e lakaletsa Bafana Bafana katleho. Re kgothalletsa batjha ho tswa ka makgalo ho ya tshehetsa dipapadi tsena tsa bolo tsa pele tsa mofuta wa tsona. Dikgomo!

 

Contact: Ms Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi MP, 078 186 3619.