Government has reaffirmed its commitment to helping young people access opportunities that will enable them to participate meaningfully in the economy.
“As government, we are here to put in the infrastructure that will increase your chances of success in a world that is increasingly shifting and unpredictable,” Deputy President David Mabuza said.
He was addressing young people during the Youth Walk into Economic Opportunities Expo in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. He encouraged the youth to make sacrifices that will enable all South Africans to participate meaningfully in an inclusive economy.
“We must again find new industrialists, product developers, software engineers, artisans and entrepreneurs. It is in your hands to triumph over your obstacles. We believe in you. It is your moment to dream, innovate, and to lift our nation out of the pit hole of poverty, unemployment, and inequality,” the Deputy President said.
He said government was aware of the frustrations jobseekers and small businesses face when they apply for work, register businesses, and run online businesses.
“As government, we remain committed to reducing the cost of data which is a huge hindrance to Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises’ (SMME) development and a cause of frustration to people applying for education or employment opportunities,” he said.
He called on the youth to skill themselves adequately so they can lead the country to shared prosperity.
The Deputy President said government is placing greater emphasis on science and mathematics so as to position South Africans to acquire the necessary skills suitable for the knowledge economy.
“We are already seeing the rise of Artificial Intelligence with the emergence of robotics and driverless cars coming into the market, thereby replacing the human factor in the equation.
“In responding to these emerging global trends, the Department of Science and Technology is currently investing in the technological building blocks of this change commonly referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Mabuza said.
The Department of Science and Technology will develop a public-funded science, technology and innovation plan of action over the next 12-18 months for socio-economic impact in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“It was the realisation of this potential of our young people that we introduced a model for economic empowerment in the agriculture sector known as Fortune 40.
“Through this model, we opened opportunities for economic participation in the Government Nutrition Model that empowers farmers to supply fresh agriculture produce to schools, hospitals and social development centres,” he said.
He also called the regional business community and the private sector to do more to create jobs as well as training and economic opportunities for the youth of the country. – SAnews.gov.za