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The Limpopo youth commission has introduced yearly awards to recognise the contribution of young entrepreneurs to the development of the province.
The awards have been made possible with the assistance of Premier Sello Moloto, pictured.
During the inaugural ceremony held in Polokwane on Wednesday night, provincial chairman of the commission Rodgers Tshivhase said that the awards not only recognised individual success, but excellence and a determination on the part of the youth to become agents of change.
He said they would continue to help young people through internships, entrepreneurial support and extended public works programmes.
Moloto said the government had mainstreamed youth development as part of meeting their social transformation imperatives.
"Our approach stands in direct contrast to that of the apartheid state which saw young people only as irritants to authority," he said.
Moloto said that the government faced a huge task in changing the behaviour of young people to reduce the high incidence of teenage pregnancies and the spread of HIV and Aids.
Moloto encouraged young people to consider "lifetime careers" such as plumbing, bricklaying, welding, electricians, motor mechanics and boilermakers.
Lebo Mashego, a 24-year-old from GaMphahlele, was the overall winner and walked away with a cheque of R50000. He employs nine people at his welding company. Mashego said he wanted to employ at least six more people at his gate-manufacturing premises.