Minister pledges to support young people in business

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pretoria - The Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu has pledged to support young people who have viable business ideas.

“As a department, we are developing unique programmes aimed specifically at addressing gaps in youth enterprise development or creation,” Minister Zulu said, speaking at the launch of the Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industry (YCCISA) on Thursday in Pretoria.

She said the youth had limitless potential to own successful enterprises and employ people.

“We are also mainstreaming existing departmental programmes…like those concerned with export promotion, to ensure we reach our youth enterprises,” Minister Zulu said.

The YCCISA was established early this year as an umbrella body that seeks to unite youth business formations and empower them to speak in one voice on enterprise development.

“The long-term solution to the nation’s unemployment crisis is to create a nation of entrepreneurs and not a nation of job-seekers,” Minister Zulu said.

The country was looking to the youth to play a leading role in the national effort to confront the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“As a country, we expect our youth to contribute with the same determination that they displayed in the fight against apartheid, towards the creation of a better life for all our people,” Minister Zulu said.

She encouraged young people to seize opportunities so they could create a better life for themselves.

Minister Zulu said government had introduced policy interventions in order to bring young people into the mainstream of the economy.

“Young people must continue to occupy the front trenches in the reconstruction and development of our country.

“They must be empowered to occupy their rightful place as change agents, rather than being mere spectators in the unfolding story of economic emancipation in our country.”

The Minister said her department would develop a number of programmes - both financial and non-financial - to assist youth enterprises and create opportunities for job creation to reduce youth unemployment.

“Collectively, we must work towards building a nation of entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial revolution must succeed if we are to meet the target envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP). Entrepreneurs are vital to a healthy economy,” she said.

Secretary General of the YCCISA, Malose Ramashala, said it was not only the role of government to create jobs, but entrepreneurs had a responsibility to do so too.

“We will ensure that in the next five years we have robust youth enterprises that integrate young people in all sectors of the economy. We must prioritise integrating young people in the mainstream of our economy,” Ramashala said.

He said the YCCISA had offices in all nine provinces.

Public Sector leader for Deloitte Southern Africa, Nazeer Essop, said he supported the YCCISA initiative.

“We are all citizens of this country and we should all take responsibility to help achieve the NDP vision of 2030 to create decent employment for all, eradicate poverty and address inequality that we see every day,” Essop said. –