Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi with some of the pupils taken on by the department for a week long extra tutoring session. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency/ANA

Grab every opportunity available to you now so you too can one day help build our country to what you wish it to be.

In relating the sacrifice made by the youth of June 16 1976 during the Soweto uprising, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, encouraged learners from across the country to use programmes such as the department’s Winter School Camp to their benefit.

Hand picked from 22 schools across the country, 113 learners were taken on by the department for a week long extra tutoring session during the last week of the July school holidays.

The purpose of the camp being to expose grade 10 and 12 learners to consider alternative careers and to educate them about the available industry opportunities.

But also to encourage the learners to consider capacitating the country’s scarce skills.

Like a father speaking to his own children, Nxesi implored the youngsters on the numerous opportunities taking mathematics opens.

“One can never say they are too old to learn something new. 

"As old as I am, I am still learning because the truth of the matter is that we learn everyday until the day we die.”

He added: “Education is not about disrespecting teachers and parents, going out drinking and experimenting with drugs. It is a tool that others fought for so that the black child may be empowered and self-sufficient.”