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Youth must shift focus towards entrepreneurship to create jobs

Solomzi Tshona

The youth of Bizana has on several occasions raised its unhappiness with the prevailing situation in their town where the general trading space is taken over by foreign nationals. If this situation is not addressed the consequences may be dire in the long term.

Whilst we can not entirely blame them for utilizing every business opportunity available in the town they need to be equally worried that the creation of a healthy and competitive economy is stifled.

A shift in focus towards fostering entrepreneurship among youths could be one of the most effective means to mitigate both unemployment and social affliction in disadvantaged communities in South Africa.

The youth of this area responded quite eagerly to the call for youth to educate themselves so that they could come back to their communities and plough back. This we were told would contribute to the economic development and help uplift our rural hinterland.

Truth be told, the acquisition of education, skills, and knowledge has come to zero as there are no jobs and opportunities for the youth to ply their trade and put such skills to use.

Much to our surprise, the available trading spaces were occupied in our absence. Going back to acquire more education for the occupation of the recently lost space, will not make sense as this education does not take us from the level where we are to a better level. The situation that the educated and skilled youth finds itself is sometimes mistaken for laziness and lethargy.

If we are to learn anything from foreign nationals is that they are organized, they uplift their own, encourage and support each their youth to be able to stand on their own.

Their invasion of every corner of our towns, townships, and rural areas is working very well for the early bird. Ours is only to look for the space less occupied, the non-profit organizations, civil society organizations, and agriculture co-ops are our primary focus when it comes to addressing these community needs.

This methodology needs to be combed out meticulously as we struggle to pull together for the betterment of everyone involved.
Instead, we add to negative team dynamics by failing to negotiate with each other, failing to understand our different perspectives and mentalities, belittling and dehumanizing one another instead of finding workable solutions to the problems we face which is fighting joblessness, poverty, and underdevelopment.

Taking lessons from good practice is not wrong at all. At the end of the day, the goal and the mission should be unified, and that is to get out of socio-economic challenges of inequality and poverty.

There is no plausible reason why we should not be economically active. We should show a willingness to learn best from their business practices.

We have surrendered development and economic development to foreign nationals as they are currently the providers of low-income jobs for our youth. As long as this situation persists foreign nationals will continue ill-treating our vulnerable youth and defenseless elderly.

The right moment for us is being created. Yes, we need to learn. The 4IR is a new concept to all of us. Let us embrace it and use it to find solutions to the problems we face today. To achieve this team effort, ubuntu and support for one another are key. Let civil society organizations call for better internet access to improve ICT infrastructure and expand the global community.

Research statistics show us that connectivity will drive the wave of economic development and innovation, increase employment opportunities and dismantle poverty. Let us be the early birds.

Let us all join hands and work together. We are not late. We still have the advantage.

Solomzi Tshona is a social activist and writer. He is a member of the South Africa Youth Council and the founder of Thuba-Lethu Development Forum (NPO) he writes in his personal capacity.

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