Johannesburg - Empowering and employing youth must be the centre of efforts to build a sustainable future for all South Africans, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Monday.
He was speaking at the launch of an Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) programme in Pietermartizburg.
The partnership includes a R10 million IDC grant to the NYDA to help finance a youth-targeted voucher programme to introduce more young people to the business world.
Patel said the sharing of data between the three agencies would help avoid duplication during applications, increase the footprint of youth interventions, and improve the impact of youth entrepreneurship funding.
Young people needed to be brought into the economic mainstream and young black industrialists had to be nurtured and supported, he said.
The IDC and Sefa's youth programmes have already approved loans valued at R37.4 million to 44 youth-owned enterprises since the signing of the Youth Employment Accord earlier this year.