Some of the greatest challenges facing today's youth are unemployment, HIV-Aids and crime, the youth parliament at the Gauteng legislature was told yesterday
The forum in Johannesburg allows young people to talk about their hopes and fears for the future.
Lebogang Maile, Gauteng Youth Commission chairman, said because young people today face such huge challenges, they have to become more active and vigilant.
Maile said that the government also has an obligation to put in place youth programmes that will deal with skills and development.
"There should be more learnership programmes that will allow young people to gain the necessary skills and experience that will help them to develop and progress," Maile said.
Maile also appealed to the youth to study subjects such as maths and science because the country does not have enough experts in these areas.
Maile said the commission will propose that the government sets aside bursaries for students who want to pursue these subjects.
Maile said they will also engage the government on the issue of blacklisting which affects mostly poor and disadvantaged students.
Student Itumeleng Motsepe said though the commission was doing significant work, more needed to be done.
"We want the youth commission to come up with practical solutions, not only theoretical debates.
"We also need youth clubs in the townships so that the youth can talk about issues affecting them in their own areas," Motsepe said.
The speaker of the legislature, Richard Mdakane, said young people must recommend exactly what they want done.
"We expect the youth to talk about real issues affecting them and not merely to mimic what their political parties are saying," Mdakane said.