Parliament’s Midwinter Spring
Thursday was a midwinter day at Parliament, but the visit of scores of young people with a spring in their step, transformed it into a day for the youth.
“As Parliament we intend taking everybody on board to be part of the transformation of our country, and programmes such as Youth Parliament are one of vehicles of this transformation.” With these words the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Ms Thandi Memela, declared June a Youth Month in Parliament. Other speakers included Mr Mduduzi Manana, who chairs the Steering Committee for Youth Parliament and Mr Nkosinathi Ndlovu, an activist from the Mbombela Deaf Youth Structure.
Learners and youth from in and around Cape Town, and further afield, attended the launch.
“As Parliament we recognise that young people in general, and youth organisations in particular, need to address the problems that face the youth of our country. That is why, apart from avenues such as (the) Youth Council, we provide this platform for them to discuss and debate these problems,” Ms Memela said.
The theme for this year’s Youth Parliament is “Education and learning to address youth unemployment, poverty and inequality”. There will be debates about Youth Day in the National Council of Provinces on Friday 8 June and in the National Assembly on 14 June. Youth Parliament will enliven the Old Assembly Chamber on 21 June.
“Parliament has commemorated youth month in a variety of ways since the advent of democracy in our country. This exercise aims to use Parliament as a forum of young people to engage on robust discussions in the final attempt to fight the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality,” Mr Manana said. It was through education that these triple challenges could be engaged, to build a solid foundation for the country’s future leaders, he added.
Information and Content Development Unit staff