YOUTH development programmes are helping to nurture future leaders.
This was said by Limpopo provincial administration chairman Charlie Sekwati in Lebowakgomo at the weekend.
He was the second politician in two weeks to host and address provincial finalists of thepublic speaking challenge for Grades 11 and 12 pupils.
KwaZulu-Natal deputy speaker Mtholephi Mthimkhulu hosted the first of nine provincial heats at the local legislature last Saturday.
Sekwati said: "South Africa will run short of future professionals if we fail to join hands and invest in the country's youth."
He encouraged the youth to be prepared to acquire knowledge because knowledge was a treasure no one could take away from you."
Sekwati lauded the Young Communication Awards (YCA) youth development partnership of Anglo American, Sowetan , the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation and the Department of Education.
He said these partnerships were helping to create a solid future for industrious, proactive and determined pupils.
Thembi Nkadimeng of Anglo American subsidiary Mogalakwena Mine said: "The future belongs to those who own their dreams today."
Nkadimeng said young people should remember that there are many opportunities in the working world, including so-called menial, albeit well-paying, jobs that included working as an artisan.
The Department of Education and the provincial governments have made the YCA a part of Parliament's flagship project, Taking Parliament to the People. Gauteng, Northern Cape and North West have also offered their legislatures as venues for YCA provincial contests.
l The winners in Limpopo are Phuphu Mohlaba, Sedzani Muswedi and Matlo Pataki. Mohlaba will represent Limpopo at the national finals in Johannesburg in August. The next YCA heat is in Mmabatho, North West, on Saturday.