June, 16th is Youth Day in South Africa. This sad day in 1976 saw the death of school children, but highlighted the plight of the South African youth and played an important part in the history of South Africa. But more than 40 years and many changes later, what are the prospects for the youth in South Africa today?
One of the suggestions on the talk programme, was that the older generation should be more involved in mentoring and training the younger generation. Knowledge and skills are disappearing and with a questionable education system and the country in a technical recession, it is no real surprise that our unemployment rate is at a 14-year high at 27.7%. (Read more)
I am a firm believer in the importance of mentorship and have often spoke about on the job skills training – especially in the wine tourism industry. One of the comments on the talk show, however, gave me new insight – it addressed the disconnect between generations.
The youth of South Africa is a pioneering generation. The first born free’s, they grow up in a different world to prior generations. Many of the rules of the past do not apply anymore. There are opportunities but the system is failing them and the odds are against them in actually realising their potential.
The older generation who have to train and mentor the youth also have a challenge. They were raised in a world with an established set of rules and while they often have the skills, they also have the baggage of the past. They often do not understand and have patience with the challenges of the youth and as a result, attempts to train and mentor often go to waste.
At the same time the world is changing at an astonishing pace and technology for one, is changing the way things are done. If this disconnect between generations in South Africa is not addressed rapidly, in some instances, the skills of the older generation will either be lost or will become outdated and will not apply anymore.
Is it all doom and gloom? Of course not! It is however only with being realistic and informed that one can really address the challenge and offer workable solutions. This complicated issue will of course not be solved in a blog post, but while trying to understand the challenge, I still have hope. I have met so many enthusiastic young people who are determined to make a success – and a difference! And at the same time, there are many individuals, institutions and industries committed to making a contribution.
This is especially true in the wine industry. The Cape Wine Auction has a focused approach towards education in the Winelands, The First Step Academy focuses on training and finding employment for young adults and of course many wineries, farms and individuals make a difference at grassroots level, while there are many formal initiatives – just see this list from wine.co.za:
1 000 SPARKLING FACES
The Cap Classique Association strives to generate profits at their generic Cap Classique Festivals and donate all profit made towards this project
AGRI’S GOT TALENT
This singing competition for fruit and wine workers has a focus on skills development. The Cap Classique Association strives to generate profits at their generic Cap Classique Festivals and donate all profit made towards this project.
BOT RIVER EDUCATION FUND
Promoting educational excellence in the Bot River community
CAPE WINEMAKERS GUILD PROTÉGÉ PROGRAMME
Cultivating and nurturing winemakers from disadvantaged groups to become winemakers of excellence
GRAHAM & RHONA BECK SKILLS CENTRE
Ground-breaking skills development centre in the Robertson valley
GIVE ME A CHANCE CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION
Alluvia Boutique Winery & Guesthouse’s trust supports promising students from nearby Kylemore
KLEINOOD COMMUNITY PROJECT
Kleinood’s partnership with the Weber Gedenk Primary School in the Blaauwklippen Valley
NEDBANK CAPE WINEMAKERS GUILD DEVELOPMENT TRUST
Social development investment for school children in the wineland areas
PATRICK GRUBB BURSARY
Jointly funded by auctioneer Patrick Grubb and the Nederburg Auction, this bursary enables previously disadvantaged individuals working in the wine industry to gain experience in the world’s fine wine regions.
Helping children with special needs
PINOTAGE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY
Developing the capacity of young, disadvantaged South Africans to prepare them for employment within the wine industry and related sectors such as hospitality and tourism
The Communication Initiative Network’s community radio station
RURAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
A unique partnership between the farm workers, formal agricultural sector, wine cellars and local government
The company is involved in a number of social and economic development initiatives
THE LAND OF HOPE TRUST
Long-term social upliftment through the gift of high quality education, skills development and the power of developing knowledge
Educational projects serving three poor communities in the Western Cape
Thunderchild is a quality red blend that raises fund for the children of Die Herberg, an orphanage in Robertson
WINELANDS EARLY LIVING AND LEARNING (WELL) PROJECT
The WELL project is focused on investing in the early childhood development (ECD) of farm workers’ children in the Cape winelands
Featured image: Young people starting their career in hospitality at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards.