Theme: “Youth Power”: Growing South Africa Together in a Period of COVID-19
- Greetings Hon.Premier Zikalala, Speaker, Chairperson Mbatha-Cele, MPL’s, fellow colleagues and guests.
- The theme: Youth Power: Growing South Africa together in a period of COVID-19, reminds us all that, ‘old values are not obsolete’.
- As South African youth, we’re ready to participate in governance because the 2019 General Elections and youth voter turn-out sent out a message of political fatalism and youth apathy. We have internal challenges of increasing youth unemployment, massive public-private sector corruption and deep-seated inequality. However, the external shock of COVID-19 has certainly resulted in renewed calls from the youth for political alternatives and effective participation.
- The Minority Front thanks the KZN Legislature for this Youth Parliament platform as we believe that South Africa will grow as a nation by shared views,beliefs and attitudes. These will enable us to rise above conflicts plaguing our society and exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown measures.
- We have of recent witnessed a rise in GBV, the abandoning of babies and our schools vandalized. Age and gender bias in social dilemmas makes the youth more vulnerable, therefore government needs to review various Legislation, policies, programmes, budgets and regulations with a youth and gender lens so as to give our citizens the tone, fibre, integrity, morality and capacity to lessen the impact of COVID-19.
- Hon. Premier, I don’t know of any time or culture in the history of a democratic S.A that we undertook not to respect human values and rights. Our Constitution remains our moral compass.
- Hon. members, the February 2020 National budget metered out painful cuts whilst projecting rising debts for the next years. In March COVID- unleashed the fear of S.A ever getting onto a sustainable trajectory well beyond 2024, bearing in mind we have the NDP and SDG 2030 goals to achieve.
- As a lawstudent , I have to concede that currently our policy choices are making employment unaffordable. Yet, we have to accelerate economic growth at the core of all programmes to increase employment. So, how do we prioritize faster growth because COVID-19 dictates that pace? With such unpredictability, it is essential now to introduce Labour market reforms, friendly to the entry of our youth, given the COVID-19 scenario.
- For the 2020 Youth Parliament, the Minority Front therefore recommends the following government remedial measures to spur economic growth, harnessing the strengths and capabilities of our youth power:
a) Educational institutions:reopening’s must only be done if the safety of all are ensured. The DOE must invest in non-traditional, on-line learning methods.
b) Promote small businesses and start-ups to create jobs by improving the business environment.
– Support businesses with high growth potential and assist with finance access
– Promote local, bottom-up “economic gardening’ interventions
c) The majority of small service industry businesses located mainly in dense cities faced the devastating effects of COVID-19. With social distancing challenges and disease spread, we need to fast-track spatial development in the peri-urban and rural areas. More investment is required in the local manufacturing sector to rely on our raw materials supply sources. This will strengthen value chains and internally secure essential products from external shocks.
d) Hon.Premier, massive, undifferentiated loans are only a stop gap measure, hence we all have an obligation to do more by getting these fundamentals right, despite the COVID-19 crises.
- Finally, the Minority Front youth believes that both government and the private sector programmes need to provide mentoring and coaching support for sustainable small business development.
Bottomline, Hon.members there must be inclusivity in diversity to successfully construct the approaches best suited to support South Africa’s economy in the midst of this crisis, as this requires a lot of learning by doing.
- Thank you.
Hon. Rahul Maharaj
Minority Front Youth
KZN Legislature Youth Debate
Debated by: Hon. Rahul Maharaj
Date: Wed 17 Jun 2020
Time: 09:00 to 13:25
Word Count: 618 Words