Cape Town– Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has urged young South Africans to get out of their comfort zone and aim to create industries that will create jobs for generations to come.
The Minister said this when she delivered a lecture on Africa Day at the False Bay FET College in Khayelitsha on Thursday, ahead of delivering the department’s Budget Vote debate in Parliament on Friday.
She delivered the Africa Day public lecture under the theme, ‘The role that our history plays in building a better Africa and a better world’.
In her message to False Bay FET College students and the youth of South Africa, the Minister said the continent is rich with natural resources and opportunities in productive sectors like agriculture, and that young people should move out of their comfort zones and explore.
“I have a 26-year-old son … I had to literally counsel him for him to leave Johannesburg and go to Pietermaritzburg for a mentorship. I think a lot of you are like that – you are scared of moving out of your comfort zones.
“The only way you are going to get the mentorship that you require is for you to go to the people who will guide or develop you.
“So I implore you, as the future of our country and young … leaders of our continent and world, broaden your horizons because the world is your oyster. Africa is alive with opportunities. Go and explore them,” she said.
The Minister said young people should aim to be captains of industry in their own spaces, and set themselves targets to end up as creators of jobs for coming generations instead of being job seekers.
She said government runs a number of programmes that support industries in the productive sectors, like manufacturing and agro-processing.
Young people should broaden their thinking and not be narrow-minded, the Minister said.
“If you had the information before you, your studies would be geared towards those sectors of the economy that will grow in the next 30 years.
“With the fertile land that we have in South Africa, we have become the net importer of maize. We have become a net importer of a lot of agricultural products.
“How many of you are thinking agriculture and the value chain of agro-processing? How many of you are looking into modern technology as an area to go?”
Minister urges men to respect women
At a time when women abuse is in the spotlight, the Minister dedicated part of her lecture to urge men to respect women.
She said real men don’t rape, and real men are not murderers. Real men rise to the challenge of protecting women.
“I grew up at a time when men did not rape five-year-olds. I grew up at a time when men did not prey on young girls. I grew up at a time when men were men. I grew up in a country where men respected women. Although there was patriarchy in society, men still respected women.”
She said women should raise their sons to respect women, adding that young women should always respect themselves and refrain from dating sugar daddies.
“Women, bring up your daughters to respect themselves. Bring up your daughters to understand the world around them. Fathers, be present in the lives of your children.
“Girls, do not think that because you carry a [designer] bag, it makes you a person. It does not. Don’t aspire in life for things you cannot afford. Be content with who you are and strive to be a better person, not because you rely on an older man to help you out.”