23 September 2015
Speaking to Tshwane University of Technology students at the Ga-Rankuwa campus, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams reiterated the importance of the youth understanding that skills in addition to a qualification was key to finding employment in the South African job market.
She was addressing young women and men at a university gala dinner, on 19 September, with the theme “Empowering young women and men to lead changes and social justice”.
“You must be a different generation of cadres,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said, “cadres that understand what the market requires, cadres that understand that we have passed the revolutionary stage (now that we are in government).”
The minister also said that acquiring an education was not only about getting employed but also about creating employment, stipulating: “We educate you so that you can gain knowledge, so that you can use to it to. contribute to the economic growth of the country.”
Ndabeni-Abrahams urged students to be a forward-thinking generation, and use the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030 as a guide to making their success in the world a success for all the people of South Africa.
While acknowledging that there were challenges at higher learning institutions, including access to education, the minister discouraged students from cheating the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Cheating the system, she said, was depriving other young people of access to education. It was important for the beneficiaries of the NSFAS to pay off their loans when they were employed so that the budget for financial aid could be increased.
“It is very important that, like the generations that came before us, we also make our own mark looking into the interests of the next generation,” Ndabeni- Abrahams said.
Thabang Mashilo, the creative director of Young Minds Consultants, which specialises in training and preparing young people for the realities of the world around them, delivered the motivational address at the event. Mashilo echoed the deputy minister in stressing the importance of using the tools available to young people, such as education and skills development, to embrace their purpose and respect the gift of learning.
“If you do not locate your gift,” Mashilo said, “if you don’t locate your talent, you will forever be faceless and when you are faceless, you don’t have foresight, when you are faceless you operate with intelligence and not wisdom.”
Mashilo encouraged students to work hard towards achieving their dreams, adding “you need to control your expectations. Sometimes we expect 90% in greatness but we are not willing to work for it.”
Education, as the most vital, overriding philosophy of the National Development Plan, together with job creation, is the key to finding successful national growth. And at the heart of creating that culture of growth and development, is the need for young people to understand the importance of the NDP.