Exemptions for youth businesses welcome

News coming from the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture should be an inspiration to young people.

At a time when despondency seems to be the order of the day, Minister Thapelo Olopeng took to Facebook last week to announce some of the most encouraging news that young people need to hear at a time when government needs to be seen to be providing a conducive environment for job creation and citizen empowerment.

Olopeng also announced that Cabinet has approved a substantial number of exemptions for youth businesses. Among others, businesses owned by young people would now have a grace period of five years without paying lease fees for commercial plots and farms.

This is indeed commendable; and it would make sense if the youth can also be facilitated with those farms and commercial plots because it seems there is no place for not only young people, but Batswana in general when it comes to land for farms and commercial plots.

The Minister also says Cabinet has approved that Youth should be allowed to identity open spaces that they could utilise to set up temporary stalls for selling their products.

Local authorities will allow the youth to utilise such for free, according to the Minister. In one of the most gratifying news, the Minister of Youth also announced that  30% of open spaces in towns and cities will be reserved for permanent use by youth businesses. While we are as excited as the youth for this breakthrough, we pray that no bureaucratic red tape will be allowed to hold back this and postpone the gains of young people.


We urge council authorities across the country to be on the same wavelength with the youth and the Ministry in this pressing matter and avoid sending young people from pillar to post as they seek to utilise this array of opportunities. The task of job creation does not only depend on government opening vacancies; job opportunities can also be created through this enabling environment that has the potential to see not only capable young people turning into self employment, but also creating successful ventures that create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly.

In a country where businesses rely on government expenditure to thrive, we also encourage  government entities  to  show patriotism by supporting the new and existing citizen companies with renewed verve for those youth and citizen effort to be sustainable and successful. Without doing so, all these efforts could translate into just empty political rhetoric. That should not be allowed.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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