President Cyril Ramaphosa’s maiden SONA was followed by a marathon 10-hour debate yesterday. Minister of Science and Technology and veteran of South African politics, Naledi Pandor, gave a speech filled with poignant, punchy statements on what we can expect in this new era of SA politics. We’re excited about her championship of women and our rights, as well as tackling issues around education and unemployment.
No time to listen? We’ve broken down Minister Pandor’s speech into the key points that affect you:
Higher education & skills development in young people
Unemployment is one of SA’s key issues and Minister Pandor had no problems putting it to the fore. ‘Africa’s greatest resource is her people,’ said Pandor. ‘Particularly young people. We should use international cooperation to expand the skill-base of our continent, and we need to address our skills gaps and develop an international skills development initiative through our higher education institutions.’
‘It’s time to ensure that we increase employment, eradicate poverty and eradicate inequality’
And the question of whether #FeesWillFall?
‘As per the free fee education policy by Jacob Zuma, it will be implenmented. We cannot take grants as the main solution to poverty.’
Marginalisation of black youth
Black youth are one of the most vulnerable groups that face unemployment, poverty and violence. ‘Twenty-three years after our democracy, black youth continue to suffer the burden of exclusion and marginalisation, including women… We wish to confirm the commitment of the ANC to a non-sexist society, this is fundamentally a task we are committed to executing,’ said Pandor.
Commitment to a non-sexist society
Gender-based violence is one of the biggest issues affecting young women. Minister Pandor hit the message home: we need to call on men to start taking accountability, and the people representing us in government need to put in the work outside of Parliament, too.
‘We need to have greater care being exercised by our entire male population’
‘Perhaps our failure of public representatives is our failure to imbue a concern for women in our general population. Much of the violence [against women] takes place in our homes, between persons who know each other. And we need to have greater care being exercised by our entire male population, within our families and society…. It’s our families, and people who are close to us. We need to be able to engage them to change their conduct.’