18 November 2018


Deputy ministers engage Taung youth on development   

by: Obakeng Maje     date: 29 june 2018

Young people in the arts and culture sector got an opportunity to have their say and engage government leaders when Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Maggie Sotyu and her counterpart at State Security Agency, Ellen Molekane, visited Manthe village in Taung last Friday. 
Sotyu and Molekane’s visit was part of a Youth Month imbizo. According to Sotyu, government and its agencies such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has throughout this Youth Month hosted a number of engagements including youth expos, dialogues and youth entrepreneurship hubs to showcase opportunities available to young people.
“This is in line with the Government 2018 Youth Month theme: “Live the Legacy: Towards a Socio-Economic Empowered Youth”. This is the programme where all ministers and deputy ministers across the country are supposed to go to schools and have schools programmes. However, each department has a specific role to play,” said Sotyu. 
“We visited Walter Letsie High School and hoisted the South African flag. This is one of the roles we are supposed to play. We need to do that in all schools in the Republic of South Africa,” she said.  
The two deputy ministers also donated school uniform and sanitary towels to underprivileged learners. Sotyu said they have taken a decision to focus on rural communities this year.
“This area has a very high unemployment rate, hence we say that our department is to make sure that we bring the information to the young people of this area,” Sotyu said.
She added they will also assist small businesses owned by young people and women on how to market their products.
“We also have heritage sites in the area like the Taung Skull, which is a World Heritage Site. I think I’ll have another trip so that I can go and have a look at the area.
“We are in the process of taking over the area from the Environmental Affairs department and I think the processes are in the advanced stage. So I will come back again before June 2019 so that we can have a way forward on how to assist in developing the area further,” Sotyu said.
An up-and-coming fashion designer from Mokgareng village, Pelonomi Makgwe, said she hoped that the department woul;d assist businesses such as hers to grow. 
“We need exposure and technical support. We also do not have the necessary resources,” she said. 
Greater Taung Artists Association (GTAA) Secretary, Oarabile Jim, said local artists do not get the recognition they deserve. Jim said there is no cohesion between government departments.
“We are facing enormous challenges because we do not know where to exhibit our crafts and get exposure. Most departments do not coordinate and there is no interrelation between them. We urge government to create the necessary platforms where our artists can sell their products,” he said.              
Walter Letsie High School principal, Bonang Sejeso, said both the community and the school are grateful for the deputy ministers’ visit. 
“It shows that Ministers and Deputy Ministers are not only for urban areas. They also come to our rural areas to encourage our learners. Those learners who do not have proper school uniform feel small in most cases. However, we usually discuss how to assist them during our staff meetings,” Sejeso said. 
Learners who received school uniform expressed gratitude for the assistance and said they were happy that they can now concentrate on their studies without worrying about school uniform.