Commission promotes youth participation in economy

The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission has highlighted the need for information dissemination and a real focus on skills development as two major pillars to facilitating youth participation in the mainstream economy.

The commission on Friday held a virtual youth dialogue under the theme, ‘Promoting economic inclusion and youth employment’.

The national chairperson of the Black Management Forum’s Young Professionals, Classi Kgopa, who participated in the dialogue, said in order for economic transformation to take place meaningfully, support is needed across the board for youth to succeed.

“South African youth lack opportunities to participate openly in the economic mainstream. There is still a lack of black ownership in large entities [in industries] such as agriculture, transport and finance,” Kgopa said.

Kgopa bemoaned the fact that only 9.2% of South African youth are involved in entrepreneurial activities, and that the majority of them are not listed on the JSE.

Despite this, Kgopa is optimistic that the tide can change if finance institutions ease access to funding, which are needed to oil youth-owned enterprises.

He backed calls for the creation of entrepreneur incubation programmes across the provinces as a means of assisting young people to be actively involved in the economy.

“It is time that young people rise and claim [their] position… in economic transformation, and they need to be supported across the board,” Kgopa said.

The dialogue was held as South Africa marks Youth Month. The B-BBEE Commission said the dialogue was born out of the need to debate issues that are becoming a barrier to transformation, inclusion and employment for young people, which remains a major concern in the country. – SAnews.gov.za

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