28 July 2022
On Thursday, 27 July 2022. Deputy Minister Alvin Botes addressed the 4th SADC Youth Forum, titled “SADC Youth Call for Climate Action: Promoting Peace and Good Governance for Sustainable Environment”.
In his opening remarks Deputy Minister, acknowledged the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), and the roles to be played by young people in reconstructing a post-Covid-19 socioeconomic South African edifice.
The Plan prioritises the youth in skills development that various sectors of education and training authorities are conducting. Young people are also seen as the nucleus of our green, blue, and circular industrialisation meant to address the persistent challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
The ERRP, whilst meant to address South Africa’s idiosyncratic challenges, is also South Africa’s contribution to #SADC’s Industrialisation Strategy and the 2015-2063 roadmap adopted by the Summit to accelerate the region’s industrialisation programme.
By seeking to develop value chains in agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and services, the Strategy aims to transform the region into a manufacturing hub for the continent. The adoption of the African Continental Free Trade agreement with the estimated youth bulge and the right set of skills for the future global economy, ensures that young people stand to benefit from an integrated region and continent as their skills and capital will freely move across the continent to exploit opportunities.
In addition, the Deputy Minister highlighted the impact of climate change in parts of Southern Africa. The Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has confirmed, in concert with the international scientific community, that we are already seeing the consequences of climate change for people, nature and livelihoods and that the worst is yet to come. Its effects on agriculture, energy, human health, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, water resources, and other critical sectors across the world is plain to see.
South Africa is further accelerating its climate actions, in the context of just transition and sustainable development. Since COP26, which was held in 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, the Transition Framework has been finalised, which will form the basis for our long-term climate action.
Deputy Minister also mentioned that the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has developed a dedicated pilot support initiative for the youth and youth-led organisations. Through the pilot initiative, the department will provide project preparation development support equivalent to R1 million, to successful applicants. Youth and youth-led organisations will have the opportunity to apply for such funding and each successful applicant is eligible for financial support of up to R100 000 per project in areas of climate change, waste and biodiversity, with the view to contributing to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).