Pretoria — Young people in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria today had an opportunity to speak frankly with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe about their grievances, such as not being able to get financial assistance to further their studies or to set up their own businesses and poor service delivery.
The visit to the area by Motlanthe formed part if activities planned for Youth Month.
In his response to their concerns, the Deputy President encouraged them not to be discouraged and that they should focus on their studies. "Education is one of the assets in life that cannot under any circumstance be taken away from you," he said.
He advised them to take advantage of the opportunities government has made available to them, adding that government would do everything in its power to assist them.
"From our side as government we will continue to try harder so that we can be of better service to you," he said.
The event, held at a local stadium, also served as a platform to advise young people about the different careers paths they could take after completing matric.
Motlanthe said the community service centre, Parliamentary Constituency Office and Municipal Councils must ensure that they are at all times equipped with the tools needed to assist the youth with the correct information and the application process.
With regard to the complaints about the use of "Nyaope" by some young people in the township, Motlanthe warned that drug peddlers and those who used the drug would not be tolerated and would face the full might of the law.
He also told the youth that today's visit would not the last, as he would visit them again.
Tshwane acting Mayor Terrence Mashigo echoed the same sentiments and encouraged young people to focus on their studies. He also urged parents to be on hand to assist them.
"As a municipality we are prepared to assist those who pass matric with bursaries," he said.
One of the young people who attended the event, Thabo Moela, told BuaNews that he was happy that the Deputy President had visited their area to hear about their problems first hand.
He said he had told the Deputy President that a lack of financial assistance to further his studies at a tertiary institution was hindering him.
"I'm happy that the Deputy President has promised that we are going get financial assistance to further our studies," he said with a smile.
Also present at the event was the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), who called on the youth who are interested in starting their own businesses to contact them at any of their branched.