Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane says the time has come for young people to start their own businesses. He was addressing hundreds of young people during the launch of the Isiqalo Youth Fund at Ngqeleni.
In a drive to reduce youth unemployment, the provincial government has set aside R150 million to assist young entrepreneurs.
Mabuyane says young people must come up with business ideas to benefit from the youth fund.
“Young people in rural areas might be peripheral to the centre, but they are the centre of the periphery. We are definitely going to reach out and make it a point where they are. They don’t move to urban areas for them to realise their dreams and their potential. Government is government everywhere. Both provincial and national spheres of government must work with local government, with all other civil organisations to make it a point that we create a better life for our young people.”
Meanwhile, young business owners believe the youth fund will assist them to grow their businesses.
“This kind of program is very important because government officials become aware of the activities we do on the ground that are contributing well in the economic development,” says one of the business owners.
Another owner says, “We are very happy. We are going to benefit from the program. I can say there is a future for young people.”