President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at Imbizo Centre in Parliament to engage young people at the event that was organised by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). PHOTO: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday night said South African government wanted young people to be at the epicentre of the country’s economic activity and that the government was biased in favour of the development of young people.

“Twenty five years into our democracy, we have a situation in our country where the young are facing a real challenge, almost a crisis, and, in fact, a crisis. But at the same time they have a government which has a bias for the development of young people,” he said.

Ramaphosa addressed about 200 young people from various sectors and formations during a presidential youth dialogue in Parliament, Cape Town, on Wednesday evening. 

Organised by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the dialogue, under the theme “25 years of democracy, celebrating youth activism,” provided a platform for young people to engage firsthand with Ramaphosa ahead of his state-of-the-nation address which takes place on Thursday night.


President Cyril Ramaphosa hugs Masingita Masunga, who is disabled, after she addressed the presidential youth dialogue in Parliament on Wednesday evening. PHOTO: Phando Jikelo /African News Agency (ANA)


Ramaphosa said the young people of South Africa also had a government that was not only willing but also prepared to listen to young people’s views, inputs, proposals, suggestions and everything else.

President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives at Imbizo Centre in Parliament to engage young people at the event that was organised by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).On the panel is Cronet Mamabolo, Khaya Sithole, Masingita Masunga and Ayesha Pandor. PHOTO: Phando/Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

“Yes, we want young people to be at the epicentre of our economic activity and I’m so delighted to see here so many of you raising hands saying that you are entrepreneurs and that is so pleasing to my heart. It is for this reason that we have also appointed a minister who is young, who is your peer, who understands small businesses, who understands precisely what it is that is happening and affecting the lives of young people,” said the president, further adding that he firmly believed that young people were innovators and creators who have a lot of ideas.

“We need to open pathways, we need  to create an ecosystem for young people to be able to thrive and to be creative. We do need to give you a way with all the enablers to assist you as young people. We don’t need to limit at the creation but also need to go beyond the creation of businesses that are led by young people and be able to facilitate the growth,” Ramaphosa said.

Masingita Masunga who is disabled, addresses a youth gathering in Parliament during the presidential youth dialogue with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Phando Jikelo / African News Agency (ANA)


- African News Agency (ANA)