Agape Youth Movement (AYM) held its 3rd annual Tshwane youth leadership talk on 24 June at ZK Matthews Great Hall-University of South Africa. Drawing from learners in leadership positions, Corporate Social Investment managers, government representatives and education based NPOs as well as exceptional young leaders in our society- the platform strives to have a holistic appreciation of South Africa's leadership climate whilst engaging on efforts to maintain and better its position. AYM in partnership with COT hosted this year's theme under "Now We Are Here" with Ms Lerato Mahoyi and Mr Melody Miya (Radio Host at UJ FM) faciliating the programme of the day.
CEO of Agape Youth Movement Mr Thabang Ramoroka explains that the platform is centered around young leaders around the country to engage in "dialogues on some of the challenges they face and not only that, but also allow them to come up with innovative solutions to combat those hurdles preventing them from achieving their highest level of leadership potential".
Panelists of the first session (faciliated by SABC News anchor Ms Thabile Ngwato) included Ms Dludlu Hlatshaneni from the department of basic education; Mr Peter Adolphs who is the managing director of TOBETSA providing access to information and the FREE WiFi initiative in the City of Tshwane; including 2 highschool learners. Also part of the panel was Dr Anthony Naidoo, Senior Manager Strategic Planning Gauteng City Region Academy responsible for the state of the education address. In the keynote attention was given to the voice of the youth in our national context alongside their active involvement, attitude and culture. Dr Naidoo highlighted the creation of jobs across 19 sectors with an initiative aimed to develop entrpreneurship as the rise of artificial intelligence is seeing the more labour intensive sectors falling away.
The youth comprises 34.3% of the Gauteng province's population. Unemployment in Gauteng among the youth (15-34 year olds) is reported to have increased from 32,4% to 39,8% between 2008 and 2015. "The majority of young people who are employed in the province are either employed in the informal sector or part-time workers". Gauteng was however highlighted as having higher levels of entrepreneurship among the youth with 22.9% of 2050 youth-owned business surveyed belong to the Gauteng Province. The senior manager also mentioned challenges of a duplication of services rendered as well as "insufficient credible usable provincial data on the youth". Gauteng is the third province in the country experiencing youth deaths at 13.1% more prevalent in lower income families. The need to understand the youth's position demands attention to be given to the socio economic challenges as it is reported that gender based violence sees young women in Gauteng experiencing fatality from discharge of firearms at 8.8%. The need to give attention in combating the drop out rates throughout the skills and knowledge transfer process calls for intervention as he presented the Gauteng Master Skills Plan aimed for implementation during 2017-2022.
The framework is said to be grounded in and support of three levels of Development and Economic planning. These levels include finding resonance in the National Development Plan's key strategies; the ten pillars of Transformation Modernisation and Reindustrialisation (TMR); and the city development plans on a Municipal level.
Learners from the schools strongly stressed that there is a need for the education system to be more accomodative in recognising and moulding crafts and talents not well catered for in their curriculum. The call for entrepreneurship to also be incalcultated before they reach matriculation was also echoed as a strong sentiment shared by the youth in attendance.
Panelists in the second session (facilitated by ENCA producer and presenter Busiswe Gumede) Ps Cyril Peterson who is the Senior Pastor of Living Oracles Tabernacle; Ms Kealeboga Moremba, Communications Officer Kagiso Shanduka Trust; Mr Adriaan Groenewald CEO of Leadership Platform; Mr Mpho Mathe who is a Human Behaviour Specialist and Ms Dimpho Lekgeu, TV and Radio Broadcaster. The event also had member of parliament Hon. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi as one of the panelists who delivered the state of the youth address. Mr Ndlozi gave a fervent diagnosis of the country's political climate highlighting its effects on the youth.
"Parents and elders are those people who should shield the youth from the dangers of society" Ndlozi said. Addressing over 1200 learners in attendance as well as parents, educators and SGB members from 27 schools, the South African politician highlighted the effects of the nation's leadership crisis in contributing towards a broken society of absent parents as young people are left to leave school in order to continue fighting for their liberation themselves. "In 1976 the reality is that parents were not mounting a fight against the system. Many were compliant and overcomed by a lack of hope". The Economic Freedom Fighter's national spokesperson exclaimed how the generation of 1976 had to "overcome both the fear and general despondency transferred by their parents and elders aswell as by the system". The youngest EFF member in parliament urged the youth in attendance to draw inspiration from the generation of 1976 in going to the forefront as their situation today is also as a result of parental and elderly neglect.
Mr Ramoroka believes that with partnerships such as that of Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute and City of Tshwane the movement will be able to "further develop more young leaders in the City and beyond". Agape Youth Movement also extends an invite to both government and business leaders to get involved in their initiatives as they mould the country's leadership landscape by developing future leaders today.