Deputy President was addressing thousands of learners from across the Northern Cape, who gathered at Mxolisi Dicky Jacobs Stadium, in Upington, for a Youth Development and Career Expo, on Saturday.
He commended the Northern Cape youth for saying no to drug abuse and crime and embracing education. He said the event was about investing in the development of young people.
He said government and its social partners were in the province to showcase many opportunities that exists in the country, which youth can benefit from.
“There are enormous opportunities that government has laid out for young people. So young people have no business to sit back and say they do not have opportunities, because we have made opportunities available,” he said.
He told young people that government had their best interest at heart.
“The government is not your enemy. The government is your supporter. The government is in your corner. The government is your parent. The government is your friend. Walk with government and you will realise your future,” he said.
Northern Cape Premier Silvia Lucas said as South Africa commemorates 40 years of June 16 Soweto Uprising, youth should remember that the future is in their hands.
“Young people, you must remember that government is your ally in making sure that you develop,” she said.
The Deputy President’s address came after young people were given a chance to visit various exhibition stalls erected at the stadium, which the Deputy President also visited.
In the middle of the formal programme, after visiting the stalls, youth were given a chance to interact with the Deputy President and his panel of Deputy Ministers from various departments.
Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said this was a successful expo, as young people acknowledged that they have roles to play in developing their communities, and the achievement of economic freedom.
She was especially moved by two girls from Pabalelo, in Upington, who asked for help and recognition of the work they do for youth and women development in their community.
They said they do not have technological equipment or office space, and they do not have a platform to let people know about their work.
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams donated two tablets to the organisation and said the two girls will receive training on website development so that they can share their stories with the world.