Durban - Energy Affairs Minister Tina Joemat-Petterson has challenged ANC Youth League members to focus on technology when they talk about radical economic transformation because mines would soon be the thing of the past.

Addressing hundreds of members and supporters in KwaMashu, north of Durban on Friday, Joemat-Petterson said the league should consider mobilising young people to go abroad to study nuclear energy in Russia and China.

She said instead of them calling for 40% representatives in private business and government, they should fight to control the renewable energy industry.

She said in the next 20 years the world economy would depend on technology.

“The fourth industrial revolution is not going to be about mines or the industrialisation of mines, but it is going to be about the industrialisation of technology,” she said.

She was the guest speaker at a dialogue on economic freedom organised by the eThekwini region ANCYL.

Joemat-Petterson also supported ANCYL’s call for former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to be party leader.

Before she started her talk, she shouted “Viva, President Jacob Zuma, viva. Viva, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, viva”.

She also clapped hands when ANCYL eThekwini regional secretary Thinta Cibane told her that “the ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal has said in its provincial congress that we believe that Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma must be the next president of the ANC”.

“The call for Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is not just about her, but women in general in this country to show that women can lead from the front.

“We don’t see anyone besides the ANC that can give us the female president. We want to tell you that in December when we reelect some of you in that collective you will be led by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,” said Cibane.

Joemat-Petterson is a member of the ANC national executive committee, which has banned the succession debate until the party’s December national conference.

The league in KwaZulu-Natal has, on several occasions, been called to order for defying the ban.

Joemat-Petterson said on its call for radical economic transformation, the ANCYL should not be “populists,opportunistic and reactionary”.

She also lashed out at DA Western Cape Premier Helen Zille for condoning colonialism, saying that she was frustrated because of the ANC’s call for radical economic transformation.

Joemat-Petterson said instead of being fooled by people who are making allegations of corruption in South Africa’s R1 trillion nuclear deal, the youth league must select a number of young people to study nuclear energy in Russia and China.

“Ask how many students you will be able to send to go and study so that you control nuclear energy in the country in the next 10 years,” she said.

Black Business Council treasurer-general Sindi Mzamo said the government should set aside R2 billion for the development of young people, “not for tenders” but to help them start their own businesses.

“Tenders won’t take young people anywhere,” she said.

Sunday Tribune