Speaking on behalf of Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi at Popo Molefe stadium, in Kokosi township, in Merafong, Diphofa told the youth that it is not necessary to destroy infrastructure when protesting.
“If you want to protest, do it peacefully within the confinement of the law,” he said, adding that government cares for them and that it’s there to serve them.
“Our constitution allows those who have concerns to raise them through various avenues, including the right to protest peacefully.
“We call on communities to express their concerns within the bounds of the law. When infrastructure is destroyed communities are deprived of a chance of a better life,” Diphofa said during a Youth Imbizo on Thursday.
The Fochville visit follows that of Mdantsane in East London, in the Eastern Cape, last week, where Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi announced a joint venture programme by Public- Sector Education and Training Authority (P-SETA) and DPSA.
The joint venture would see the Buffalo City Municipality host a number of graduates in the areas of infrastructure planning, development, operation and maintenance for undergraduates, in the form of a bursary to the value of R45 000 each for a period of two years.
The Department of Health, Department of Home Affairs and other institutions were also present at the event.
Diphofa told the youth that the constitution guarantees that all organs of state ensures that young people are treated fairly and are not discriminated against in all forms.
With regard to education, Diphofa said it is necessary that the education, training and innovation system should cater for the different needs and produce highly skilled individuals, especially the young.
“The graduates of South Africa’s universities and colleges should have the skills and knowledge to meet the present and future needs of the economy and society in general by providing equal opportunities and helping all South Africans to realise their full potential.
“As government, we have created platforms, which the youth should utilise to achieve academic, career and economic opportunities,” he said.
Diphofa said the onus is upon the youth to take the opportunities that government has presented to them and empower themselves.
“An empowered youth today means South Africa will have empowered leaders in the future,” he said.
Diphofa told the youth that government has introduced internship and learnership programmes which empowers the youth who have graduated from tertiary institutions with the requisite skills for the job market.
“We would like the youth to explore the opportunities offered by the Public Service in all spheres of government as we would like to make the Public Service an employer of choice,” Diphofa said.
For those youth who want to start their own businesses, Diphofa told them that the government and the private sector have established a fund for Small Business Support to assist them.
He said the fund will provide capital-type funding and mentoring to target groups, especially black entrepreneurs.
The youth were afforded an opportunity to raise their concerns. Most of them raised concerns about the lack of job opportunities and essential services in their areas.
One of the youth, Edward Payi, who is an ex-convict, raised a concern about unemployment after being released from prison.
Payi was sentenced to 18 years for various crimes he committed while still a member of a gang called the Jackals.
According to Payi, while in prison he learned motor mechanic and catering among other things.
What worries Payi most is that wherever he goes, he is told that he got a criminal record and therefore cannot be assisted.
“I have committed crimes, I have paid for those crimes I committed. I need to be given a chance and be employed,” he pleaded for help.
In response to other concerns raised, Home Affairs’ officials assured the local community that mobile units will be deployed in the area.
The local municipality also assured the youth that they will be looking at the issue of unemployment.