Free State acting Premier Ketso Makume attends launch of DESTEA

South Africa: The Acting Premier of the Free State province, Ketso Makume, joined MEC for DESTEA and Thabo Meeko for the launch of the Organised Youth Business Pitching Programme.

The launch of the programme, part of the province–wide celebrations in honour of the heroic 1976 students who stood up to the apartheid regime, was held in QwaQwa, Maluti – A – Phofung local municipality. 

Acting – Premier Makume said he was pleased that resolutions of the Executive Council, aimed at empowering and creating a conducive environment for the youth to thrive, were now beginning to bear fruit.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank your department for implementing the Executive Council resolution, to take practical steps, to do whatever is possible and pragmatically engage the rich minds of young people in reimagining the Free State through sustainable economic endeavours,” Acting – Premier Makume said.

The launch of the programme, Acting – Premier stressed, must challenge the youth to approach entrepreneurship in new, innovative ways.

“Today’s launch of a Pitching Programme… must not be allowed to be a mere event — an occurrence — that is meant for mere public relations. It must be business unusual in creating the business of business. It must be business unusual because the journey of business is the journey of entrepreneurship. The journey of entrepreneurship is a long, arduous and lonely road of risk-taking, trying and failing and trying again until you succeed,” he said to loud cheers.

Acting: Premier Makume said the Free State Provincial Government was committed to assisting the youth of Free State in their quest to make a mark in the business world.

“The Free State Government equally commits to be with you in ensuring you succeed. We will take the private sector with us and make them part of this programme so that you can acquire as much experience and confidence as possible,” he said.

The Acting: Premier also took a moment to pay homage to the heroes and heroines of 1976 who bravely confronted the brutal apartheid regime but sadly ended up paying the ultimate price when the trigger-happy apartheid police mowed them down.

Furthermore, he asserted, “Those that came before you in 1976 were brave and dared the apartheid system. They have paved the way for you through supreme sacrifices. Today, you are not asked to brave the bullet or risk your futures and prospects.”

He concluded by announcing that Premier Mxolisi Dukwana will, towards the end of this month, visit several Asian countries to study best practices and invite investors from those parts of the world to invest in the Free State.

“When they come here, they must find you ready to partner with them where possible and avail whatever offerings they may need in the entire value chain,” Acting – Premier Makume concluded.

Amelia Jones

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