South African Students Congress

Statement of the Progressive Youth Alliance

5 February 2013

The Progressive Youth Alliance Secretariat held its first meeting for the year 2013 to chart a collective way forward in dealing with issues affecting young people in education, youth unemployment and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

The meeting was attended by the Secretariats of SASCO, COSAS, ANC Youth League and the YCL of South Africa.

On Education

The PYA noted work done by the different structures in creating access to academic institutions and the struggles fought and solutions forged by our structures in campuses and schools throughout the country. The meeting noted the work of COSAS in their Back to School Campaign, YCLSA in the Joe Slovo Right to Learn Campaign and the forthcoming launch this Friday of SASCO's Right to Learn Campaign.

The PYA further noted the following issues:

We will soon engage with government and the ANC to further explore these issues.

On Youth Unemployment

The PYA noted newspaper reports that claim that the ANC Lekgotla which sat over the weekend resolved to implement the DA-sponsored Youth Wage Subsidy. We were part of the Lekgotla and are aware that the ANC will be discussing policy details in relation to the Youth Employment incentives which includes the Job Seekers Grant. The PYA was part of the consultative process of the draft Youth Employment Accord which was presented by government to all stakeholders at NEDLAC. We believe that we are on the verge of an agreement with all the stakeholders at NEDLAC.

We will be watching closely the policy discussions in resolving the crisis of youth unemployment and are confident that the discredited YWS will not be thrown into the process through the back door by our ANC government. We are finalising a PYA discussion document on Jobs for Youth which will be an amalgamation of the different views of PYA structures and young people in general.

The PYA notes and welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Labour in the Sectoral Determination of wages of workers in the agricultural sector, which will lead to a minimum wage of R105.00 or 52% increase. We call on all farm owners to implement this decision as soon as it comes into effect, and should only regard this as a minimum wage. This, in our view, calls on all farm owners to pay workers a decent wage and for trade-unions to push for the possible maximum increase in the bargaining process.

On the National Youth Development Agency

The PYA calls for the acceleration of the process of recommendation of the NYDA Board by the National Council of Provinces.. We have to avert the legal implications of not having an NYDA Board for a prolonged period of time.

The PYA fully support the process of amending the NYDA Act. We believe that there is a need for an empowered NYDA that respond adequately to the issues youth, in particular youth education, skills development and youth unemployment. We have to restore the confidence of young people towards the NYDA, and ensure that there is transparency and consultation in its programmes and how it connects to young people.

On the forthcoming PYA Summit

The PYA will be convening a Summit in March 7-10 in Johannesburg, to be attended by more than 150 delegates from SASCO, COSAS, ANCYL, YCLSA, SUCA, YCS, SASPU and invited civil society. The aim of the summit will be to adopt a common national youth programme that will look into socio-economic transformation, education and health, integrated youth development strategy and our approach as young people towards a total victory by the ANC in the forthcoming General Elections.

We will be working together as PYA structures to unite young people towards a prosperous, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society. Our past differences have polarised youth interests and demands.

The time for Unity is Now!

Issued by the Progressive Youth Alliance

For more information CONTACT
Thsiamo Tsotetsi (COSAS Secretary General)
Themba Masondo (SASCO Secretary General) 0791993421
Khusela Sangoni-Khawe (ANCYL Spokesperson) 079 510 5408
Khaya Xaba (YCLSA Spokesperson) 0824401379