The Deputy Minister said this when participating in a debate of President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
He said the NYDA had also provided 3 242 young men and women with grants of between R10 000 and R100 000 over the last three years during the current board’s tenure.
“Over the last three years, the board of the NYDA has created close to 11 000 jobs through investments made in a variety of projects,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said as part of the NYDA’s partnerships with other government departments, the agency has supported young people to gain access to farming opportunities.
This includes assistance given to Neo Phayane, a member of the Ramatlabama Piggery Cooperative in a village in the North West just outside of Mafikeng. Together with his 11 peers, Phanyane started operating a pig production business from one of the member’s backyard.
“The co-op was assisted by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the NYDA to lease a farm to the total value of R 1 457 124.
“There are challenges and setbacks but there are pockets of excellence throughout the country which illustrates that, as you are preoccupied with changing the ruling party, we are more focused on changing the lives of the majority of our people,” he said.
The Deputy Minister said, meanwhile, that since the launch of the Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Programme by the President in 2014, more than 500 young people have received scholarships.
“One of them, Anele Pike , is studying LLB at the University of the Western Cape and she matriculated from Outeniqua High School in George.
“The other one, Nkosinathi Kaziwa, is studying Mechatronics at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He matriculated at Doctor Nelson Mandela High School,” he said.
During his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma emphasised the need to fight the scourge of racism. He said this year’s Human Rights Day will be used to commemorate a national day against racism.
The Deputy Minister said racism has taken the form of economic exploitation, social exclusion and continues to divide millions of South Africans.
“It is important that we mobilise all South Africans in this important fight,” he said