Minister Marais Speech at Homeless Street Soccer Farewell
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
HOMELESS STREET SOCCER FAREWELL 2019
23 JULY 2019
Good evening, molweni nonke, goeienaand,
It is with great honour and an absolute privilege to address you at this very special farewell in which we officially wish Team SA all the best as they depart to Cardiff to participate on the international stage that is the Homeless Street Soccer World Cup in the United Kingdom this year.
Making this official kit handover all the more significant is the fact that youth from under-resourced, vulnerable communities made the conscious decision to not maintain and challenge the stereotypes often associated with these areas. Substance dependency, gang intimidation and consequent life sentences in joining, teenage pregnancies have become the orders of the day. All of which culminates into a mutual despondency further eroding at the sense of hope, motivation and self-determination needed to optimise on constructive potential to create an alternate lifestyle to the destructive path too many of their fellow youth have already fallen victim to.
Yet, here we are, at the official send off of Sibusiso, Tankiso, Wade, Sinesipho, Katleho, Lucky, Sbonele and Yandisa. The shining beacons of hope and inspiration to communities such as Parktown, Gugulethu, New Crossroads and others suffering under turmoil often brought on by the vicious cycles of poverty and damaging social ills. These are some of the areas in which the army has now been deployed. Although it’s presence has seen a decline in murder cases, the 25 this past weekend is still 25 too much, and has stabilised a warzone to a certain extent, we can all agree that the army is not a silver bullet and a whole of society approach is an urgent necessity.
This evening’s send off personifies this approach. This evening, Oasis, the YMCA, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and esteemed partners: both local and international renew our collaborative commitment to use the code of street soccer as a means of social and personal development amongst young people affected by the societal challenges that often places them at high-risk.
However, this evening we flip the script, this evening we celebrate these 8 young men and their solid support base for collectively strengthening each other’s resolve to be better versions of themselves to uplift the very communities they call home, despite the diminishing sense of belonging. This evening we applaud them for making the decision to occupy themselves with positive development programmes and are now deemed youth with potential rather than youth at risk as anti-social activities such as substance abuse and gangsterism failed to and will not become a priority. The seed of the mind-set shift urgently required to grow as a people and to offer our youth better prospects has been planted here, and firmly so, might I add. It is the duty of our Department and government as a whole to allow our people to critically see their environments differently and to establish their rightful place in taking ownership of their circumstances and communities, inculcating a sense of belonging, pride and will to flourish which in turn then lets our children dream and imagine better futures for themselves. All of which firstly stabilises our volatile communities and subsequently raises them into aspirational realities.
We take this opportunity to wish Oasis and Team SA well in the coming World Cup and continued focus and success in the programmes and networks to be honed at the event as it contributes to the holistic development of each participant, who is in dire need of positive alternatives to the realities faced on a daily basis.
Remember, you are valuable assets and we are profoundly grateful for the passion, resilience, perseverance and determination the Oasis team lead by Mr Cliffy Martinus and Ricky De Reuck has become known for.
Travel safe, embrace every opportunity and take up your deserved spot as the South African ambassadors you have become through building relationships of trust and believing that you are destined for greatness.
I thank you
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
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