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The youth must grab opportunities and make them count
The youth must grab opportunities and make them count
More than five hundred (500) youth from the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District gathered at the Ikageng stadium in Potchefstroom to participate in an Imbizo hosted by the Department of Tourism, North West Department of Tourism and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). 

Themed ‘Youth in Tourism’, the Imbizo provided a platform for the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe; Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela; North West Tourism MEC, Ms Desbo Mohono, and representatives from the NYDA - to interact with the youth and the greater community on how they could empower themselves through the opportunities in the sector. 

According to the 2016 Stats SA quarterly labour force survey released in 1 June 2017, unemployed youth (aged 15-34) account for 38,6%. of the national overall unemployment rate. Despite these findings, Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe is optimistic that tourism has the potential to create opportunities that will contribute to alleviating youth unemployment, poverty and inequality. 

“Our government advocates for the advancement of youth economic empowerment. As a Department we have prioritised the advancement of youth in our plans for growing tourism.  We will ensure that young people are actively participating and benefiting from the initiatives and opportunities provided by the sector,” said Deputy Minister Thabethe. 

More than 2 654 youth graduated from the skills development programmes run by the Department of Tourism in the 2016/17 financial year, of which 1 837 were women. 

“The Department will be implementing its Hospitality Youth Training programme in this financial year.  The programme will provide an opportunity for 200 unemployed youth from the North West province to participate in this programme. This is just one of the many opportunities that the youth can participate in, and I encourage you all to look out for such opportunities to empower yourselves,” added Thabethe. 

During the Imbizo, the community noted the need for government to ensure effective information flow so that youth are better able to access opportunities provided by government entities. 

In her response, North West Department of Tourism MEC Ms Desbo Mohono acknowledged that government would work with communities to improve information flow.  She also added that her Department had also hosted a Tourism Career Expo on the 13th June to share information with the youth information about employment and skill training opportunities that exist in the industry. “We will host similar information sharing events ïn the future to ensure that we disseminate information to the right people at the right time,” said Mohono. 

Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Buti Manamela encouraged the youth to start thinking broadly, and look into opportunities that promote entrepreneurship.

“Government can only do so much, and young people need to pro-actively seize opportunities and make them work. You need to start businesses where you can employ each other, and build your communities. Organisations such as the NYDA can assist with funding and business proposals,” said Manamela. 

Enquiries: 

Ms Susan de Bruin
Director: External Communications
Department of Tourism
Telephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6605
Cell: +27 (0) 83 921 7303