“We must work with young people themselves to turn the picture around. As indicated and confirmed by numbers, young people do not want handouts but they want a hand-up, ” Manamela told reporters at the Sefako M Makgatho presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.
“Young people want government to open up the opportunities as created.”
Manamela addressed reporters after President Jacob Zuma launched the presidential youth working group, which brings together government and youth organisations.
The group aims to promote youth participation in governance and policy making in a bid to improve the lives of young South Africans.
Manamela said formations of young people pledged to work closely with the newly-formed organisation which hopes to join the fight against unemployment and substance abuse.
“One of the representatives of the young people said they see the national youth policy as an expression of their interests. If we work together, young and old, we shall be shaping the young people to be active and productive citizens,” said Manamela.
“If we harness the creativity, innovation and energy of the youth, we could transform this country and the whole continent.”
In a statement, the presidency said the presidential youth working group was aiming to discuss the National Youth Policy and various issues related to the socio-economic development and empowerment of young people in South Africa.
The youth delegates at the Pretoria launch were drawn from various sectors, including professional associations, agriculture, business, education and skills development, religious sector and organisations working in social development.
Thamsanqa Maqubela, chairperson of the SA Council for Graduates said youth organisations welcome the review of the National Youth Policy.
“We are saying, young people of this country, as the majority of citizens must be recognised. We want to take part and not to be given handouts,” said Maqubela.