January 17, 2019


Activist young leaders aim to serve

Youth involvement needed . . . Lebogang Mongane

Youth involvement needed . . . Lebogang Mongane

Free State youth and the disabled in particular, can now approach special programmes coordinators (SOCs) in their respective areas to improve their access to valuable government information and assistance.

This announcement was made by the assistant director for youth and disabled matters in the office of Premier Ace Magashule, Lebogang Mongane, during the TNA Media Breakfast Briefing held at the Emoya estate on Tuesday last week.

Mongane who hails from Polokwane in Limpopo province is an ex-board member of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

The visually impaired leader is also an outspoken activist in the ANC youth league in the Free State.

And while completing her PHD degree at the University of the Free State this month may come handy, Mangane seems to be more concerned about implementing a host of programmes to raise young people in the province from feelings of helplessness.

“The majority of our population in the province is youthful; they are future leaders and together with mayors in the province we have decided that there should be youth advisors. This way youth in this province will know the office of the premier cares about them,” she said.

She noted gone are the days when law makers would impose policies on young people without first obtaining their buy-in.

Funding of special programmes in municipalities should become a priority to enable them to discharge their mandate of empowering the youth.

“Nothing about us without us, we say no more decisions will be taken in this province without the input of the youth and their involvement,” she vowed.

A fellow panellist, Teboho Radebe who is living with albinism said growing up with the condition and not being able to read the teachers’ writing on the chalkboard in class because of poor eye sight, as well as not being able to kick a football in the sun with friends during break-time, were things he learnt early in life to make peace with.

“If you do not become part of the people, they too will not be part of you. I made peace a long time ago with the things I cannot do because of my albinism. However I’m here to tell young people that this is just a condition, it doesn’t define who I am or what I’m capable of,” he explained.

Radebe works for the Disabled People of South Africa and hails from the Thabo Mofutsanyane Local Municipality.

The event marked the beginning of the annual Youth Month commemorating heroic acts of martyred school children in Soweto in 1976. It sought to make known the programmes and projects which young people can involve themselves in for meaning participation in society.

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