LIMPOPO Premier Stan Mathabatha has warned young people to guard against corruption and other tendencies which have the potential to destroy their future.
The warning comes as the country was still reeling under shock of revelations of how senior government officials including certain ministers and President Jacob Zuma were allegedly involved in corrupt activities with the Gupta family.
Mathabatha was speaking to the multitude of young people at the provincial commemoration of June 16 at the Chuene Resort outside Polokwane today.
He warned: “The billions of rand which the country is losing to corruption can best be used in programmes that are aimed at your development programmes such as increasing funding for both the higher education sector and our TVET colleges
“Corruption is your enemy number one as young people. You must reject and expose corruption whenever it manifests its ugly head. You must do this because corruption and theft of public resources steals from your future.
“You must also refuse to be used as instruments to facilitate or hide corruption. You must reject the glitters of corruption. If you agree to be corrupted now, you will be compromised for the rest of your life. The skeletons of corruption will haunt you for the rest of your adult life.”
He also warned the youth to dissociate themselves from drugs and alcohol: “Part of your responsibility as young people is to organise yourself and rid our streets from drugs and drug pushers.”
Instead, Mathabatha encouraged them to take opportunities being presented by government to empower them economically.
“Youth economic freedom is a battle that must be won in your lifetime. This freedom and democracy will be meaningless if it does not transfer economic power into the hands of the young people, who are not just majority but the future of our country.
“Our political power must and will be used to support young people to become successful entrepreneurs,” Mathabatha said.
He said the economic freedom should be relevant to all young people across all areas and not the selected and connected few.
“It should not be an economic freedom for just a few families, relatives and friends. Every young person must benefit from the economic empowerment we are talking about.
“This empowerment should include a reform of procurement policies and legislation to make these laws to be biased to the interest of youth owned businesses,” he said.