A thousand young people from Oliver Thambo, Ethekwini and Waterberg Municipal Districts in the country were welcomed to the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec) College in Thaba Nchu in the Free State, where they will be taken through a 12-week induction, orientation and life skills training phase.
This will then be followed by a youth leadership development programme, which is administered by the South African National Defence Force at the 3SAI military base in Kimberley and at the SA Naval base in Saldanha in the Western Cape.
The young people were welcomed to the college by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza; Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Free State’s MEC for Finance, Gadija Brown.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told the students to use the opportunity to become more disciplined in their lives. “Discipline is the most important value that you can have, because if you are not disciplined there is nothing you can do. Discipline starts with small things, how you dress, whether you’ve bathed, whether you’ve made your bed or not. Now how can we trust that you’ll feed us if you haven’t even made your bed?” she asked.
Thoko Didiza added that participants should use their skills to participate in the economic opportunities created through the District Development Model. “South Africa will never change if young people just wait for government to provide. Let us go to the farm and start farming. Once you are done with the programme, we want to see you being able to farm. The programme is meant to kick-start your life so that you can change your lives.”
The Youth Leadership Development Training aims to teach the new recruits vocational skills such as basic Personal Financial Management, Occupational Health and Safety orientation, Hygiene, Fire Fighting and Civic education. And after completion they will then be enrolled into TVET and other training colleges to obtain qualifications in their chosen career fields. This will be funded by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
“Yours is to give back to the community, more especially your family. You are carrying a lot of responsibilities and if you fail, you will have failed the country. As pioneers, you have a lot of responsibilities to contribute toward the economy of the country,” concluded Didiza.