south african youth sona 2021 cyril ramaphosa

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SONA 2021: UDM says SA youth ‘cannot trust President Cupcake Ramaphosa’

The UDM says President Ramaphosa is “out of touch with the realities on the ground and that of the future”.

south african youth sona 2021 cyril ramaphosa

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The United Democratic Movement (UDM) Youth Vanguard released a scathing statement ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation (SONA) address, citing youth unemployment.

The statement’s headline in bold letters asks: “Should young South Africans expect anything new from President ‘Cupcake’ Ramaphosa’s SONA 2021?”

“Which young South African would at the moment trust anything President Cyril Ramaphosa says or would say? His yearly state of the nation addresses came off as mere ‘motivational speeches’ and he has nothing to show for it”.

UDM sceptical of SONA 2021

Youth unemployment in South Africa

The UDM is of the opinion that President Cyril Ramaphosa “is repeating the same message and promises using different words, singing in a different tune”, and adds that “the nation’s ‘cupcake’ is in the wrong calling”.

The Youth Vanguard cites Ramaphosa’s 2018 win as “making several ambitious promises to the youth of South Africa”. Three years down the line and the party feels “there has been no positive impact”.

President Ramaphosa acknowledged that “young people are languishing in poverty”, however, UDM notes that the president “will never in his entire life subsist on R350 per month”, and questions his decision that “R350 is a feasible amount among our poor to buy even enough food”.

“The youth unemployment rate has skyrocketed, meaning those who had jobs have lost jobs since 2018, and no new jobs have been created. So much for President Ramaphosa’s promises”.

UDM Youth Vanguard

Skills, training and resources for SA youth

The UDM cites a report by the World Economic Forum, saying that one of South Africa’s biggest problems is “the mismatch between the jobs of the future and unemployment”, and the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

“Roughly 133 million jobs must be created, however, South African youth lack skills to prepare them for the 4IR and our government is lagging in leadership. The world is moving into the artificial intelligence space and the young people of our country have no idea how to tap into this revolution”.

Rightfully so, the UDM Youth Vanguards acknowledges that these sectors will be “changing the world of work”, however, initiatives are only centred around coding, “as if that is the only thing pertinent to 4IR”.

This leads the UDM to believe that Ramaphosa is “out of touch with the realities on the ground and that of the future”.

Smart tech the way of the future

The UDM Youth Vanguard proposes programmes for young South Africans which are “modelled on and equipped with smart technology”. In addition, the party says that “children in classrooms should be exposed to media, new trends and innovation”.

“This needs to be an environment where they can come up with ideas, experiment and explore, for them to have such an ability, the learning and/or classroom must be safe and conducive”.

The party also cites the growth of social media and its ability to create vacancies and drive the workforce. With this in mind, youth must be trained to be data scientists, “to know what information to put forward”.

In addition, the UDM calls on government to “create an environment that allows the creation of a live 5G network here in South Africa that will create new services and products for the future”.

“There are only two other such innovations in the world – one in America and the other in Finland. We have the potential to be the third, globally. South Africa’s greatest export is its people”.