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Young Parents Symposium

26 September 2015

The African National Congress Youth League will convene a Young Parents Symposium to discuss the issue of parenthood. This gathering is scheduled for the 27h November 2015 (Friday) at the Orlando Communal Hall in Soweto Johannesburg.

The Youth League is entrusted with the twin tasks which include mobilizing the youth behind the vision and the mission of the African National Congress and championing the interest of the young people in society broadly. At its National Congress the ANCYL identified the issue of teenage pregnancy as a social ill which requires a societal effort in order to ensure its eradication. Arising from the increase in teenage pregnancy is the phenomenon of parenting being required from a younger age and this presents new challenges for this generation of young people.

It is the view of the Youth League that circumstances that have led to this program being required are unfortunate but a blanket denial of the reality will do more harm than good in the national fibre and the development of the society as a whole. Looking at the statistics we need to be worried as the nation. In 2012 the youth between the age of 15-19 gave birth to 112 605, 20-24 the number is 253 843 , from 25-29 the numbers are 244 006 and from 30-34 figures reflect 178 694.

The issue therefore is to ensure that these children totaling 789148 should grow up under proper conditions of both the mother and father`s support financially, emotionally and academically. The symposium will therefore be an opportunity for young people to share experiences, engage on issues of common interest around issues of entrepreneurship, education and skills development. By providing various information on education, further skilling and business opportunities ensuring they actively participate in the economy.

The ANCYL is concerned with the manner in which children are raised; in light of the number of arrests of youth and children. There is 29% of children and youth which has been sentenced for economic reasons, 51% for aggressive related offenses which range from assault, stabbing and other violence related offenses, 13% for sexually related offenses, whilst 2% is for narcotics and 5% of offenses which are categorized as others in the report by NICRO (NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CRIME PREVENTION AND THE REINTEGRATION OF OFFENDERS).

ANCYL commends the position taken by the African National Congress in parliament on the changes being made to the legislative framework responsible for child maintenance. We note that some have sought to oppose this move in parliament and we are not surprised. We know them, they grew in our ranks and their refusal to acknowledge paternity of their children are some of the foreign tendencies we could not tolerate in the movement. We want to call on the leader of EFF and his deputy to be part of our program so as to gain some knowledge on how to be responsible young parents and citizens. When people who are part of the legislative arm of the State refuse to support their children what economic freedom are they going to bring for their own kids.

The Youth League remains committed to the twin tasks and continues to pursue our generational mission of economic freedom in our lifetime.

ISSUED
Mlondi Mkhize
National Spokesperson
African National Congress Youth League