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Address by the Honourable Jeff Radebe, MP, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; on the occasion of the announcement of business support for the NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors programme; 114 West Wing, Union Buildings, Pretoria


17 NOVEMBER 2017


Thank you, Programme Director:   

The NDP Youth Ambassadors

Calvin Theko from Liquid Telecom

Zipporah Maubane, representing Altron

Charmaine Houvet from Cisco

Business Leaders present here

Our NDP Youth Ambassadors

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my immense pleasure to welcome you back to the Union Buildings. We have met on several occasions before, talking about the NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors programme and the need for business support in our development endeavours.

I am delighted that today we are not here to discuss ideas, but to announce practical steps that have been taken towards the fulfilment of our common vision. We are here to witness the realisation of some of our dreams and aspirations, which we have shared over the past couple of months.

As a way of giving background to our gathering today, allow me to draw from some of our engagements this year. Following the South African Youth Awards (SAYA) held in March, we indicated that we will be establishing the NDP Youth Brand Ambassador Programme as an intervention to ensure that youth are part and parcel of developmental endeavours in our society.

We made it clear that the recognition of youth should not be a once-off event. It would be meaningless to only recognise youth and not empower them to develop and flourish in their vocation.  The recognition of the positive contribution that young people make in society should enhance their ability to run successful businesses and develop their communities.

The youth are the main drivers of change in society and ought to be at the forefront of the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) as the long-term vision of the country. The youth are an integral part of our Vision 2030. We must empower them to be the champions of growth and development in our society.

It is against this backdrop that we established the NDP Youth Brand Ambassador programme. The NDP Youth Brand Ambassador Programme was conceived as an intervention aimed at promoting youth entrepreneurship to boost economic growth, increase employment, and reduce poverty and inequality. We envisioned the programme as a significant contributor towards the attainment of the national imperatives of creating an inclusive and more dynamic economic landscape.

We now have a total of 37 NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors who have been selected from a variety of fields. These young people are some of the most outstanding innovators, investors, entrepreneurs and career trailblazers in our country. They are remarkable achievers in their respective fields selected from different provinces across South Africa.

On the occasion of the launch of the NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors programme on 28 September, I reiterated my call to business to support this noble venture. It has always been my fervent desire that government, business and civil society organisations work together to combat youth unemployment.

We met with captains of the industry on 1 September 2017, including Cisco, Liquid Telecom and Altron, amongst others, to introduce the NDP Youth Brand Ambassador Programme to the business sector with the view to fostering partnerships for youth empowerment. Barely a week later, we received positive feedback from the corporate sector.

I am pleased to say that this programme is already yielding positive results. Our presence here today is testament that my pleas for partnerships have not fallen onto deaf ears. Business is beginning to respond positively to my call for partnership.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce that Cisco, Altron, Liquid Telecom, Proudly SA, PRIMEDIA, Multichoice and NYDA have officially joined partnership with the DPME. They have embraced our vision and are committed to providing support to our NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors programme. They are both very clear about how they want to support this initiative.

Cisco, with whom we have been traveling this journey from inception, have committed more than R300 000 (Three Hundred thousand rand) in-kind contribution to the entire programme. They also offer seven free online training courses including in the following subjects: Digital Literacy, Entrepreneurship, and Cybersecurity Essentials, among others.

Our brand new partner, Altron, has offered mentorship to four of the NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors. The selected ambassadors for this programme are as follows:

 1)   Dr Lungi Sitole

      2)  Ms Thulile Khanyile,

      3)  Mr Lubabalo Tybosch

      4)  Mr Michael Mojalefa Tlhoaele

 While we recognise that these ambassadors are already making a difference in their respective fields, they stand to gain more experience through the mentorship programme. The mentorship programme is intended at enhancing their business skills and nurture their talent so that it benefits the broader society.

They will gain unique and invaluable insights beyond their own education and experience. Experience is something that can never be bought and this is what Altron offers our ambassadors. They will be exposed to business practice in a similar industry as their own, which will ultimately provide a greater understanding of the way in which business in that field operates. Thank you Altron for offering this opportunity to our ambassadors!

On the other hand, Ladies and Gentlemen, Liquid Telecom have committed a R200, 000 (Two Hundred thousand rand) to the NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors Programme. This amount will be shared between two ambassadors.

It is my pleasure to announce that the very first beneficiaries of this programme are Mogau Sesheoshe and Nneile Nkholise! We will present the cheques to them later during the course of our programme today. I might as well add that these funds will go directly to the beneficiaries.  

These funds will assist towards the enhancement of their businesses and boost their growth opportunities. Liquid Telecom pledged their support because they cherish the same vision as us. They espouse similar objectives as us. They believe in this programme as much as we do.

You would recall that Mogau Seshoeshe is the brains behind The Lazy Makoti, a company that empowers rural and township women to host cooking classes on local traditional cuisine and sell handcrafted, locally produced kitchen accessories. Liquid Telecom supports her aspirations to revive and encourage a love for the rich South African heritage that is our food.

Nneile Nkholise, on the other hand, is an impact entrepreneur and founder of iMed Tech currently incubated at Innovation Hub, which is working on the application of Additive Manufacturing to produce custom-made external prosthesis. Liquid Telekom embraces this initiative because they believe in its vision. I thank them for joining this partnership with us.

I am confident that these funds will give these initiatives the necessary boost to thrive in these cutthroat industries. We know that starting a new business as a young entrepreneur is not the easiest of endeavours. You need capital to support you as you take risks in your new venture. The support from Liquid Telecom will increase the prospects of growth in these businesses.

My Department will continuously engage with the private sector and government institutions to solicit support the NDP Youth Ambassador programme. Simultaneously, we endeavour to provide marketing and communications to the initiatives of the NDP Youth Ambassadors. As part of supporting our ambassadors, tomorrow I will deliver a keynote address at the 3rd Annual Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA) on 18 November 2017, 10h00.

The Township Entrepreneurs Alliance is an initiative of one of our ambassadors, Bulelani Balabala, who owns a company called Intercessor Army Franchising cc (IAF Brands). Bulelani’s initiative has the potential to increase youth participation in the country’s economy. The Township Entrepreneurs Alliance is a platform for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to engage, learn, access mentorship, and skills necessary to start and operate a business. We are grateful that our partners CISCO and other private sector institutions such as Standard Bank, Tsogo Sun, and Flower Media have come on board to support Bulelani’s initiative.  I would like to urge other ambassadors to attend the event in support of their fellow ambassador.

In line with our commitment to involve ambassadors in some of our specialised activities and use the platform to provide the much needed exposure their initiatives, last month I invited Ndivhuwo Prudence Mudau and Promise Machimane to join me on my visit to the Ntwane village for a community service delivery imbizo. Ndivhuwo and Promise donated sanitary towels to a local school. As we all know, sanitary towels are a necessity in the lives of women. They must be able to take care of themselves when that time of the month comes. Menstruation is a natural phenomenon and women should not feel ashamed when it happens. Lack of funds should not mean they can’t have access to sanitary towels. This is another way in which we restore dignity especially to young girls who cannot afford to buy sanitary towels. Through their donation, Ndivhuwo and Promise have contributed towards the wellbeing of those young girls and ensured that they continue to participate in their schooling activities.

 Ndivhuwo Prudence Mudau founded an NGO called Phenomenal Women South Africa. The NGO aims to advocate the rights of women and address challenges faced by young girls in particular.

Promise Machimane is the founder and managing director of MIA Sanitary towel. She started MIA as a sanitary towel manufacturing company in 2012, and the company currently boasts a total of 8 products in its line. The company has created 87 jobs directly and indirectly. 

We have amongst us other NDP Youth Ambassadors who are doing a sterling job in their area of work. For instance, Bathabile Moreki is providing mentorship to young entrepreneurs to contribute in building township economy. Bathabile is herself a multi-franchised owner and uses her experiences and networks in the private sector to secure partnerships for young entrepreneurs. Recently, she has negotiated support from IALE, AUDI in Limpopo, and Khukhu Box Franchisor. Her work can only bear fruit if she receives support in the form of office facilities, funding and resources to run the mentorship programme on a large scale.

This is the calibre of NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors that we have in this programme and their energy can only be sustained through collaborative support. By empowering these young ambassadors we are investing towards a better and more prosperous future for South Africa. We are cultivating young talents that will be spearheading transformation and inspire economic growth in South Africa. These ambassadors have the potential to stimulate economic development and contribute in addressing the perennial challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

I once again express our sincere gratitude to our partners, Cisco, Altron, Liquid Telecom, Proudly SA, and PRIMEDIA. I can assure you that you have taken the right decision by partnering with us in this initiative. The NDP Brand Youth Ambassador programme is a worthy investment. I thank all individuals and organisations that have continued to support youth development endeavours. Youth development is everybody’s business. We must all play our part.

This is only the beginning. We have a long way to go. Let us travel this exciting journey together. I extend the invite to all potential partners to join hands with us in empowering our Youth Ambassadors. By empowering the youth we will be imparting skills and knowledge while at the same time addressing government imperatives such as employment creation and economic development. As I conclude, I once again make the clarion call for more organisations to join this partnership.

 The NDP Youth Brand Ambassadors programme can standout as a shinning example of a successful Private-Public-Partnership (PPP). Let us empower the youth to empower the nation. It is our future. Together we can make it work.


Thank you.


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