About the Annual JB Marks Memorial Lecture
The National Youth Development Policy (2015 – 2020) entails amongst other objectives, the need to strengthen the capacity of young people to enable them to take charge of their own well-being through building their assets and ultimately, realising their potential to the fullest. Furthermore, the NYDP espouses that opportunities should be created to enable young people to take part in the country’s development and growth. These objectives provide a guideline in crafting youth development interventions and possibly drastically improving the livelihood of our young people.
Consequently, the JB Marks Education Trust Fund conceptualised and hosted its first Memorial Lecture in 2010 as part of the organisation’s contribution to the growth and development of young people in South Africa. The envisioned aspiration was to afford young people the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions with leading academic professionals, politicians, thought leaders and decision makers from various institutions – people who have directly and indirectly contributed to the transformation of the new South Africa.
Relevant themes are carefully selected according to their significance and impact on the youth; and their ability to trigger thought provoking discussions on development orientated issues that shape the future of our young people. Moreover, themes are also linked to current policy intents committed by our country’s leadership and translated into government programmes.
Background on Previous Lectures
2010 Memorial Lecture
The inaugural lecture was held at the University of Witwatersrand under the theme: “Is the Education System of South Africa contributing to the skills shortage in the country”? The Keynote Address was delivered by Mr. Gwede Mantashe, the current National Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC).
2011 Memorial Lecture
The second lecture was held again at the University of Witwatersrand under the theme: “Facilitating the integration of young people into the mainstream economy through entrepreneurship by providing relevant skills training and job opportunities”. The Keynote Address was delivered by Samuel Isaacs, the CEO of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
2012 Memorial Lecture
The third Memorial Lecture was held at Tshwane University of Technology and focused on the theme: “The Challenges on transformation in South Africa”. The Keynote Address was delivered by Professor Somadoda Fikeni.
2013 Memorial Lecture
The fourth Memorial Lecture was held again at Tshwane University of Technology under the theme: “Creating a better tomorrow today: Connecting the dots from education to skills development, entrepreneurship and contribution to the country’s economic growth – are we on the right track”? The Keynote Address was delivered by then Minister of Home Affairs, Melusi Gigaba.
2014 Memorial Lecture
The fifth Memorial Lecture was held at Vaal University of Technology and focused on the theme: “The Reflections on the 20 years of Democracy and considerations for the future towards realising Vision 2030”. The Keynote Address was delivered by Mr. Aubrey Matshiqi, from the Helen Suzman Foundation; also an affluent political analyst contributing insights into the national political landscape of South Africa.
2017 Memorial Lecture
The sixth Memorial Lecture was held at the University of Johannesburg and focused on the theme: “The quality vs. quantity of today’s education system in South Africa, and the impact it has on the socio-economic future of the country”. The Keynote Address was delivered by renowned influential leader in the Education spectrum in South Africa, Professor Mary Metcalfe.
2018 Memorial Lecture
The seventh Memorial Lecture was held at the University of Johannesburg and focused on the following theme of topic: “The implications of the fourth Industrial Revolution on today’s youth and tomorrow’s future in South Africa”. The Keynote Address was delivered by the Research and Development Strategy Manager for the CSIR, Dr Daniel Visser – a man who holds an MSc in Biotechnology from Wits and a PHD in Biochemistry from Rhodes University.
2019 Memorial Lecture
The eighth Memorial Lecture was held at the University of Pretoria, Future Africa venue. The theme for 2019 was: “The Pros and Cons of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on the economy, everyday life and education system of South Africa”. This time, the Lecture was delivered by a Panel of three: Dr Daniel Visser, Group Manager for Planning and Knowledge Management at the CSIR; Dr Martin Kaggwa, Researcher, Academic and Development Consultant in the interdisciplinary area of Economics, Technology and Science Policy – currently the Executive Researcher Director at Sam Tambani Research Institute (SATRI); and finally, Mr Ndaba is the Founder & CEO of Mahikeng innovation hub, a 4IR Commissioner – Presidential Commission on 4IR.