This is against the backdrop of a sluggish economy and youth unemployment.
Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, who said youth are an integral part of the government’s efforts to move the country forward, said completing schooling and looking for a job thereafter is no longer enough.
Instead they should acquire the knowledge and technical skills required by the employment market to grow the economy.
“Our youth should become entrepreneurs, develop their entrepreneurial skills so that they can open small businesses, create jobs and ultimately contribute to a prosperous South Africa.
“We call on you to build corporations that will compete with the major conglomerates of this world,” she said.
The Deputy Minister was addressing the Young Beyond Twenty (YB20) youth assembly in Free State, on Friday.
The YB20 Assembly is a unique platform created to foster dialogue and generate partnerships between exceptional youth.
It gathers together the brightest young people from around the country to effect positive change in South Africa to debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for the pressing issues faced by themselves, their organisations and local communities.
The Deputy Minister said the youth should take advantage of the many business opportunities that are available in the building of new dams, railway lines, road, ports and infrastructure development plan.
The youth should also not shy away from other possibilities for example to become successful commercial farmers.
“Our future success lies in producing a new wave of farmers who will build a sustainable agricultural industry, both for domestic consumption and the export market.”
She also called on them to never to forget the country’s history and to learn from it.
“We should take heed that those who have gone before us chose to serve their people.”
Many of them, she said, were educated and learned people, and could have chosen to pursue their careers.
“But they instead chose to fight because they came from a tradition that defines success within the concept of Ubuntu that says ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’. In order to move the country forward.”