Youth dialogue to explore opportunities in Thaba Nchu

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bloemfontein - The youth of Thaba Nchu, in the Free State, will get an opportunity to engage Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on post schooling and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The Deputy Minister is being joined by representatives from the Free State provincial government, provincial youth formations and entities of the Department of Communications which will showcase their services to the community members at Albert Moroka High School.

The Deputy Minister, who is also a member of the Presidential Youth Working Group established by President Jacob Zuma to mainstream youth development and empowerment, said the event is part of Youth Month commemorations.

Speaking to SAnews ahead of the dialogue on Thursday, Deputy Minister Ndabeni Abrahams said post schooling opportunities and entrepreneurship are centre of youth development in the new administration.

This has seen government including President Jacob Zuma encouraging young people to become entrepreneurs and coming up with programmes aimed at opening up more possibilities for young people

One example is the Industrial Development Corporation in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency which have ring-fenced R2.7-billion over the next five years for young people to take up opportunities in business.

“It is high time we drive local economic development and if we do not engage these young people on the opportunities that are there for them we are not going to contribute towards the economic growth,” said Deputy Minister Ndabeni Abrahams.

She said it was important that young people do not fold their arms and wait for government to employ them. They themselves must take a lead in employing others.”

Thaba Nchu is a small, friendly town located at the foot of a mountain known to the Sesotho-speaking people as “Thaba Ntsho”, meaning “black mountain”.

The town, which was founded in 1873, is situated 65km from Bloemfontein along the N8, and 12km from Botshabelo.

Among the challenges facing the youth is unemployment which often lead to alcohol abuse as well as lack of entrepreneurship skills.

Even though there are bursaries and learnerships, local councillor Lebogang Moloabi told SAnews that they are always limited despite schools producing 100 percent matric pass rates.

The Deputy Minister said they choose the area because of its history which can be linked to James Sebe Moroka – who was among others the president-general of the ANC.

“It is important for us as government to say that on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter we engaged with the community and gave the young people of this community an opportunity to talk about their stories and share with them the services that are available from government side.”

The dialogue was presided by a courtesy visit by Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams and her entourage to the Barolong Tribal Authority under the leadership of Her Majesty Kgosigadi Audrey Gaongalelwe Moroka which covers about 42 rural villages.

With many of these villages situated approximately 65km from the small CBD itself - it means that they have to travel there to access proper services and that there’s no development and basic services for the locals.

The Barolong Tribe welcomed the visit, saying it was a sign that government cared about rural communities.

“Thank you for remembering the youth of Thaba Nchu. We hope that the youth take the opportunities you will present to them with both hands so that the area can also see economic freedom in their lifetime,” said the spokesperson of the council. – SAnews.gov.za

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