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Commission meets to discuss youth participation in the Western Cape

Statement by the Western Cape Youth Commission

The Western Cape Youth Commission yesterday called a dialogue meeting with the Premier of the Western Cape, Premier Ebrahim Rasool, and other stakeholders regarding the participation of white youth organisations in programmes and events of civil society and the public sector.

The meeting was called for by the Commission in response to various claims during the month long programme of commemorating 16 June 1976, that young people from particularly white communities do not want to participate in the public arena.

Although the Commission rejects any claims of apathy among young people from white communities, the Commission has seen the need to establish working relations with organisations that work mainly with and in white communities, in order to broaden its dialoguing initiatives to all communities and gain an understanding of the variant issues of young people.

The meeting was joined by various young role-players and youth organisations from the religious, cultural, media and business sectors.

The Commission declared its intention to further increase and broaden youth participation in development in all communities amidst any remaining divisions that may still exist between young people from different backgrounds and persuasions - thereby giving effect to its legislative mandate to inculcate unity among all youth in the province.

The Commission indicated its intention to deliberately initiate dialogue on societal issues between young people from different
cultural, religious, political and racial backgrounds in order for all communities to participate in shaping our future society and together deal with the destructive legacies of our history. The Commission expressed the need for youth to harness the legacy of significant leadership from the youth of 1976, and continue the movement to build a free and democratic society for all.

The meeting discussed various pertinent themes on establishing significant dialogue between communities, as well as on particular concerns that young people have.

The meeting was in agreement that all organisations and volunteer initiatives should participate in the programme of social dialogue that the Commission launched this past Monday. Honest and robust discussion on many issues must be engaged in and the meeting expressed the view that youth from white communities are willing to participate in this regard. Organisations such as the Afrikanerbond and the Voortrekkers also gave a clear indication that these organisations fully support an initiative to build all communities, and expressed the need for partnerships in development initiatives.

The meeting was also in agreement that white youth are positive about contributing to developing South Africa and are already extensively involved in local community initiatives. The meeting further highlighted the critical focus on education and the provision of recreational facilities for young people in poorer communities. The meeting also expressed concern about the levels of violent crime in the country.

The meeting expressed frustration with the continued use of racial categories as a basis for interaction and called for a move to African and South African identity in public discourse. Calls were also made regarding the need for clear information and education on the purpose and need for affirmative action policies.

The Commission welcomed the various inputs from role-players and organisations and called for continued dialogue regarding the development agenda as well as issues of identity and history. The Commission further called on the meeting to support and roll out the vision of a Home for All in local communities and youth organisations.


Enquiries:
Vincent Domingo, Chairperson: 083 274 9560
Rudi Buys, Commissioner: 082 448 5984




LitNet: 5 July 2006

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