In commemoration of Youth Day the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature hosted its annual Youth Day Parliament on the 20th and 21st of June 2017 at the Khayalethu Grounds in the King Cetshwayo District. The theme for this year’s Youth Parliament was: “The Year of OR Tambo, advancing Youth Economic Participation.” The purpose of the two day parliamentary sitting was to primarily give youth formations the platform to engage with the Government about various projects and programmes these youth formations are working on and also pose questions on their diverse concerns.
Youth formation members leading the public proceeding into the Youth Parliament
Speaking during the opening the Youth Parliament Session, Speaker of the Provincial Legislature, Honourable Ms Lydia Johnson remarked about the importance of education in advancing youth economic participation, emphasising that “the students of June 16, 1976 understood the importance and role of education in the development of any country. The students were not only fighting against the Apartheid regime they were also fighting for a proper and empowering education, not education that was enslaving them”.
MEC Ravi Pillay MPL delivering his report on implemented resolutions of 2016
All the Members of Executive Council (MECs) addressed the youth about progress on the implementation of 2016 Youth Parliament Resolutions and planned programmes for the youth in 2017/18 financial year. MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, Mr Ravi Pillay said Public Works had made great strides in advancing youth development in 2016. “The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) provides a useful foundation base for young people in particular to emerge into their career,” he said.
In the 2016/2017 financial year, EPWP has provided 180821 work opportunities and 76109 accredited training (FTEs). Furthermore, the MEC told the gathering that the Department also prides itself about its Bursary, Internship and In-service Programmes where youth skills are nurtured and developed. He said, these interventions have contributed immensely in the transfer of skills among the youth in the Province. The Department of Public Works remains committed in provisioning skills development and advancing economic participation through youth programmes and initiatives the Department has to offer.