Johannesburg – The minister of small business development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams delivered a speech at the National Youth Development Agency's first annual summit in Ekurhuleni.
The NYDA held its first annual Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) summit for young people to gather, discuss, and reflect on the implementation of youth development and also look into challenges that youth are facing.
Entrepreneurs and business people were gathered to share their experiences and also to give words of encouragement to young people to keep on pushing until something happens.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said they have a serious crisis because they cannot grow the economy and young people cannot maintain their households with these high percentages of youth unemployment.
"We are looking at the impact that Covid-19 has had in terms of unemployment or shredding jobs in our country," she said.
She applauded young people who are innovative enough to have tapped into their entrepreneurial skills and make sure that they can turn things around.
"An amount of R2 billion and we want it to go to small businesses throughout the country." We also realised that as we talk about that, we have not been deliberate in trying to address the imbalance of the past, making sure that we limit the Zaharas of our world, where a young girl has a talent and wants to grow, but the only opportunity present is when she goes to Egoli (Gauteng)," she said.
She mentioned that they are not going to deliver less than R200 million per province but "we are going to have buyers in rural provinces because they need to industrialise and re-engineer their economies so that we avoid the potential collapse of the economy."
Speaking about economic participation, entrepreneurship and jobs, Sibusiso Ngwenya of Skinny Sbu Socks urged the youth not to wait on anyone to fund them, especially the government, because they will forever wait for it.
He said he did not wait for funding, instead he kept on pushing as he had an appointment with his dreams.
Supporting his statement, Bongani Mabuse of Tshepo 1 Million said employment is quite an issue and young people are frustrated.
However, questions were raised at the summit about how hard funding is to find. The heated conversation led to the youth addressing problems in the education sector. They said the government should not wait any longer to launch the Fourth Industrial Revolution in schools because it would delay the progress of young people.
Mental health and well being were also challenges that they discussed, and said the youth is now hooked on drugs and substances that damage their minds.