DA-led Youth Eastern Cape Dialogue 

By Somila Tiwani 

On Friday, 27 May 2022, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Youth Eastern Cape launched the ‘Thetha Mntomtsha’ (Speak Young Person) campaign, which focuses on jobs, education, and skills. Thetha Mntomntsha aims to create conducive platforms of dialogue. This campaign was launched at the Student Representative Council (SRC) Chambers at Nelson Mandela University’s (NMU) South Campus.  

Amongst speakers was the DA Provincial Deputy in Administration, Euzelle Ruiters, Provincial Chairperson, Kwanele Zonke, and the newly elected Youth Interim Federal Leader, Nicholas Nyati. Nyati is no stranger at the University as he is also a former SRC President. He served as the president in 2016 and has never looked backwards in politics.  

Discussions on issues pertaining to the youth of SA such as gender-based violence, the loadshedding occurring with no solutions in sight and the increase in fuel prices were held, with much emphasis on unemployment. 

According to StatsSA, the unemployment rate amongst graduates declined from 40.3% to 32.6%. For youth to find employment and develop self-sufficiency, they should participate in education, skills or training. Due to South Africa’s high unemployment rate, many young people have been unable to secure employment. This has contributed to many factors like depression, substance abuse and crime.  

Unfortunately, the future we aspire to build may not be accomplished if we fail to achieve progress and make advances to capacitate young people.  

In the campaign launch, Kwanele Zonke stated that Eastern Cape is in a dire critical situation. “What hope do you have to find employment after graduation?” That is why such platforms are created, to discuss the way forward.  

Nicholas Nyati added that the current state of SA dictates that you might die without finding a job you studied for. The DA Youth Leader offered solutions and had come up with two solutions. The first one is to create jobs, and the second is skills for jobs. “What role are you taking to ensure that we’re able to save what is left of SA? Because I strongly believe if we, young people can stand together we can achieve great things.”  

The floor was then open to the audience for a dialogue. Amongst discussions from young people were issues of not enough career guidance and information provided, with one making an example of a Psychology student who never knew that you actually need to study up to Masters level to actually be a psychologist. This was the first ‘Thetha Mntomtsha’ campaign and there are more to come. Be on the lookout for the next invite on either the ‘DASO Nelson Mandela University’ page and/or on your MEMO student mails for the next session

Photo credit: Khwezi Mathambeka

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