Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel made a poignant appeal to the younger generations at the University of Johannesburg.
Speaking to the crowd at the launch of the National Planning Commission Jam, Mr Manuel said that as he got older he would become incapable of doing his job. He said that by 2030 he would have to have passed the “baton” onto the younger generation. “In 2030 I will be too, too old to be doing what I’m doing but you won’t,” he told the audience.
It’s important for any country to immediately engage young voters and encourage young people to become politically active. Without initiatives like this, young graduates are not aware of how they can actually change politics and the situation that their countries are in. South Africa’s government has been working hard to support young people as they leave education, and the National Planning Commission Jam is one of the latest projects which organisers hope will bring greater political understanding to the government and the country’s graduates alike.
The idea behind the National Planning Commission Jam is that there’ll be a 72 hour long online discussion based on the outcome of the National Planning Commission’s report earlier this year. It will also cover and encourage debate on the vision for South Africa in 2030 – the same deadline Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel gave himself.
He also made comments about how far life, and particularly technology, had developed in Africa. He pointed out that Facebook and Twitter were not even a glimmer twenty years ago, and implored the assembled youth to think back to those days. “Life has changed,” he said.
The Jam is an award-winning communication solution from IBM. It is essentially an online brainstorming event, which brings together tens of thousands of people in a way which would be impossible offline.
The National Planning Commission Jam is going to take place from September 28 until October 1. There is an enormous amount of support for and interest in the Jam, thanks partly to politicians and radio personalities making it known. Registration has already opened and places are being allocated on a first come, first served basis. Only the first 20,000 who register are going to be able to participate in the Jam, so hopeful applicants are advised to get their details on the website as soon as possible.
There have been plenty of other ways in which the National Planning Commission Jam has been publicised, not least in broadcasting. Alongside Travor Manuel, local radio stars have been ushering young adults towards politics. On top of this, the University of Johannesburg has been an outspoken advocate of the National Planning Commission Jam and other aspects of political discourse, and the National Youth Development Agency has also been a staunch supporter.
For more details, or to sign up for the National Planning Commission Jam, visit www.npconline.co.za/ and follow the instructions on the site. Applicants are reminded to fill out the forms carefully, and that all applications must have been received by September 28.