The National Youth Policy (NYP) for 2020-2030 (NYP 2030) is a cross-sectoral policy aimed at effecting positive youth development efforts from local, provincial and national levels in South Africa. It is developed by young
people, for all young people in South Africa, with the intent to redress the wrongs and injustices of the past and to deal decisively with new and emerging challenges and needs of the country’s diverse youth.

This policy document for 2020-2030 builds on South Africa’s first and second NYPs, which covered the period 2009–2014 and 2015-2020, respectively. It improves upon and updates the previous policies by speaking to the
new challenges that South Africa’s youth faces, while acknowledging that there is more to be done to address the challenges identified in the previous NYPs. It takes into cognisance the realities that the country’s economy
faces, mainly sluggish growth and indeed the challenges of Africa and the rest of the developing world, and identifies the potential human capital inherent in young people as an untapped potential that should be harnessed and employed for the benefit of the whole society.

The National Youth Policy (2020-2030) is informed by various national and international legislative and policy frameworks. National frameworks include the South African Constitution, the National Development Plan (NDP 2030), National Youth Service Development Policy Framework (2002), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Act No. 54 of 2008, NYP 2009-2014, Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS 2012-2016), NYP 2015-2020, mid-term assessment report on the implementation of NYP 2015-2020, the 25 Year Review (1994- 2019) recommendations. International frameworks include the African Youth Charter (2006), the United Nations World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (1995), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and various other policies that are implemented by different sectors and aim to integrate youth
into the economy and society.

The NDP, adopted by Cabinet in 2012, is anchored on the Constitution’s vision of a prosperous, democratic, nonsexist, non-racist and equal society. By 2030, the plan seeks to create an inclusive society that builds the capabilities of its active citizenry. The NYP 2030 shares this vision, built on the belief that South Africa has the potential and capacity to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality over the next decade. This requires a new approach – one that moves away from passive citizenry towards a socially and economically inclusive society in which people are active champions of their own development, supported by an effective government.

This policy places youth as key players in their development and advancement of their communities, the nation, the continent and indeed the globe. They possess skills, knowledge, attitudes and capacities that, if well harnessed, can lift South Africa out of the persisting challenges of high unemployment, poverty, inequalities, negative health outcomes and underdevelopment. South Africa needs to create opportunities and develop coherent, well planned and executed interventions that enable young people to develop and realise their
potential. This policy avoids quick fixes that divert attention from the complex institutional and systemic issues that need to be addressed. It should thus not be seen as a panacea for all youth development challenges but an
advocacy tool that aims to ensure that all levels of society views youth development as key to the long term sustainable development of the country. Tangible commitments, resourcing, action and accountability by all
stakeholders working in partnership with young people are all vital. South Africa needs to develop young people’s capabilities as part of a long-term solution to poverty, unemployment and inequalities which will open
opportunities for the youth to participate in and take advantage of what South Africa has to offer.

The policy proposes interventions to enable optimal development of young people, as individuals and as members of families, communities and South African society, by investing in the enhancement of their capabilities to transform the economy and the country. As part of the implementation mechanism, the Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS), will be reviewed within six (6) months following government’s adoption of the policy and this strategic document will articulate in detail how the implementation of the outlined interventions should be carried out. This policy can only be successful through planned and resourced programmatic efforts and coordination among different youth representative bodies, government and public bodies, civil society actors and the private sector. The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework, containing high level indicators will be revised and adopted within three (3) months following government’s adoption of
the policy in order to improve accountability to young people and the coordinating Department of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities (DWYPD) through monitoring, evaluation and auditing of various entities with
mandates and responsibility to implement the NYP 2020-2030.