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Ramaphosa prioritises youth skills development to defeat poverty

Ramaphosa says through improving the standards of education, the country enable young people to have better prospects of success in the future.

A screengrab of President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a Reconciliation Day gathering in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape on 16 December 2018.

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa says reconciliation means all young South Africans need to have equal opportunities to find meaningful employment and live in areas of safety.

The president was speaking to hundreds gathered at the Walter Sisulu University as he was delivering the keynote address at the official Reconciliation Day commemoration.

While touching on a wide range of social and economic issues the president says there have been efforts to assist young people.

“We’re continuing to invest significantly in vocational training and we’re working to ensure that students from poor families can access higher education.”

Ramaphosa says through improving the standards of education, the country enables young people to have better prospects of success in the future.

“We also need to massively expand Early Childhood Development because improving the prospects of young people at an early age means that we’re laying a firm foundation for our children to have a better chance in the future.”

Ramaphosa says Sunday's celebrations should be undertaken with the plight of those who are disempowered in mind.

He says South Africans should not speak about reconciliation without giving content to what recon means.

“So, this Day of Reconciliation should, therefore, be seen as a day on which we reaffirm our commitment to eradicate poverty, hunger, homelessness and unemployment.”

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa says South Africans should be committed to fundamental economic transformation as this is necessary for the country is to be fully reconciled.

He says reconciliation cannot exist in an unequal society.

“We can’t be a reconciled nation for as long as the majority of the people of South Africa continue to suffer from the injustices of the past.”

As South Africa battles to reduce its high youth unemployment rate which stands at above 20% for young people with a tertiary qualification Ramaphosa says young people in the country should be upskilled.

“We need to pursue, with greater effort, an inclusive economy by improving the skills of our young people.”

Ramaphosa has emphasised that reconciliation and justice require action to redress of past and current injustices.

“So long as millions of South Africans are burdened by poverty and underdevelopment and the prospects for a better life are absent, we’ll not have achieved our goal for justice.”

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