P – Young people should take the baton from the older generation and help government to move the country forward.
This is the message from Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe.
He was addressing the 2nd South African Youth Awards hosted by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) at Saint George’s Hotel in Irene, southeast of Pretoria.
Minister Radebe said on Thursday that for government to achieve the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP), young people need to play a positive role.
“Young people should not be perpetual job seekers. We must raise a new generation of young people that will be job creators. We need innovative young entrepreneurs who will play a significant role in the renewal of our economy.”
Minster Radebe said all sectors should work together to direct resources towards the development of young people.
“We must work collectively as a nation in supporting and cherishing the efforts of young people to move South Africa forward against all odds. We must dig deeper into our pockets and redirect funds to youth development. It is a worthy investment.”
Addressing the winners on the evening, Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) said the awards were about recognising the positive contribution made by young people from all walks of life and to inspire the many desperate young people across the country.
“Tonight is not all about celebrating and recognising them, but also to take their stories so we can tell them to many other South Africans so we can inspire and motivate them.
“Our message is that regardless of your circumstances and background, you can achieve your dream and live the life that you’ve imagined. We are saying to the winners, post tonight, they must become ambassadors of youth development in their communities.”
Nneile Nkholise, who walked away with the main award for the evening, said she is grateful for the role government is playing to empower young people.
Nkholise is the co-founder of Likoebe Group, an umbrella company of iMed Tech, which is a medical innovation company focused on medical prosthesis manufacturing using additive manufacturing. He is also co-founder of Likoebe Innovation consultants, which offers innovative ideas for companies that want to disrupt markets.
“This is one of those times where I’m grateful to be South African and to be a young person and to have a government that is so supportive,” said Nkholise.
Nkholise walked away with the main prize of R100 000, while the other winners in other categories walked away with R50 000 (winner), 1st runner up R30 000, while the 2nd runner-up walked away with R20 000.
Other winners in different categories:
Academic Excellence: Winner Dr. Mokhetha Mabula, 1st runner up Khethelo Xulu and 2nd runner up Thulile Khanyile.
Arts and Entertainment Award: Winner Lucas Tshwane, 1st runner up Duncan Maphanga and 2nd runner up Nonala Tose.
Civil Society/Social Cohesion Award: Winner Gugu Nonjonge, 1st runner up Mfundo Radebe and 2nd runner up Koketso Marishane.
Sports Health and Wellbeing: Winner Matreki Mabizela, 1st runner up Thabo Letsiri and 2nd runner up Mlungisi Luthuli.
Science, Technology and Innovation Award: Winner Nnile Nkholise, 1st runner up LIdwick Marishane and 2nd runner up Andries Pretorious
Extraordinary Champions Award: Winner Lebohang Monyatsi and 1st runner up Lubabalo Tybosch
Environment Award: Winner Ntsako Baloyi, 1st runner up Netshia Aluwani and 2nd runner up Cyprian Gumbi.
Entrepreneurship Award: Winner Lethabo Mokoena, 1st runner up Promise Machimane and Bulelani Balabala.