Former President Kgalema Motlanthe says South Africa needs strong leaders at local government level to help build healthy economies.

He says a capable state is needed to achieve developmental goals such as ending hunger and poverty, unemployment, promoting gender equality and fighting diseases.

Motlanthe spoke at a business event hosted by his foundation and the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town on Thursday night. He says high youth unemployment is a great concern.

Motlanthe’s urged the country’s leaders and private business to help young people to develop their creative and entrepreneurial skills.

“The focus is to create a local state in the form of a capable administration, because as long as the conflation with elected councilors impacts on the administration, our local municipalities will forever be dysfunctional.”