Media Statement - 24 February 2011

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has called a Human Settlements Youth Summit to increase youth participation in designing and shaping future town and cities

Sexwale convened a roundtable meeting in Sandton today – attended by more than 50 leaders from South African youth organizations – to call for their involvement in the Summit, which forms part of the Minister’s Human Settlements 2030 Vision.

Sexwale said: “All of you will one day be confronted by the question: where will I live? Where is my shelter? I say this because the single largest asset you may ever own is, of course, a house. It is therefore in your interests to be involved in shaping the future of human settlements as we move toward 2030.

“This may not be the sexiest subject for you as youth. But you will all end up living in your own home one day,” Sexwale said.

“We need young South Africans to take our vision forward, as we fully support the notion of ‘nothing about us without us’. We want you to go back to your members and mobilise them behind the summit. We want you to prepare your thinking around this subject.”

“The summit will discuss ideas generated within your organisations, so that the summit can have finality on what you want.”

Sexwale added:“In human settlements, we are also involved in the development of new cities and towns. We need your ideas on what these cities should look like – where should people work, where should they learn, and where should they play?”.

Among those attending today’s meeting were the National Youth Development Agency, the Ministry for Gender, Children and the Disabled and Nedlac, as well as leaders from political organizations such as the African National Congress Youth League, the Young Communists’ League, the Democratic Alliance, the UDM and COPE. Several civil society organizations representing young people also attended.

There was widespread support from those present, including NYDA chairperson Andile Lungisa, who welcomed the fact that youth were put at the forefront of future housing development.

Queries: Chris Vick, Special Advisor

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Press Release Date: 
Thursday, February 24, 2011