President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africa's youth to bring about change and transform the economy. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africa's youth to bring about change and transform the economy. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

YOUTH DAY: President Ramaphosa challenges youth to put forward ideas to change the economy

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jun 16, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - As South Africa celebrates Youth Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the country’s youth to be agents of change. 

Interacting with youth during a virtual panel discussion, Ramaphosa said there has to be life after Covid-19 and challenged the youth of South Africa to come forward and help bring about change in the economy. 

“We are looking forward to innovation, creativity and new ideas from young people and we want young people who are going to speak out and step forward. Covid-19 is pregnant with opportunities. 

“I'm throwing a challenge to young people: post-Covid-19 is a new platform. We need to set up different ways of running our economy, ownership and managing our economy and even the production of our economy,” Ramaphosa said. 

He said technology will underpin everything that will be needed to be done and this would usher in a digital society. 

“As young people we need to ask ourselves, are we prepared to continue living with the inequality that has persisted forever and a day?

“Are we the young people of June 16, 1976, who said enough is enough, we want to see change? 

“I believe 2020 has ushered in that moment as young people. I want young people to contribute their ideas. I am convinced we have to create a new economy. We have to have new sectors and sub-sectors in a variety of ways. The creative industries must explode,” Ramaphosa said. 

He said the youth just need a lift, and given that lift they will fly.  

Speaking on localisation in the country, Ramaphosa said the department of small business was starting a fund to assist small and medium enterprises. “Our policy thrust now post-Covid-19 is to bring about change and that change should be about localisation. 

“We must stop buying what is unnecessary from other countries. For us as a government, we need to be finding those gems and invest in them. As young people you are the reservoirs of creativity for the country. 

“You are the ones who must be innovative, who must create things. What we need to do as a government is support you,” Ramaphosa said. 

Ending the virtual discussion, Ramaphosa said members of the LGBTQ community should be seen as part of society, disabled people should be made a part of the rest of the country and xenophobia had no place in South Africa. 

“It is up to our young people to lead this to show growth from where we were 100 years ago,” Ramaphosa added. 

African News Agency

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