“If you look at our youngsters, they are not as motivated as youngsters coming from our neighbouring countries. Our youngsters are too relaxed and the youngsters that come from our neighbouring countries are the ones that get employed because they come with skills that we don’t have,” he told CNBC Africa.
“I don’t know the reason why we don’t have those skills but I think we are inclined to be a little bit lazy, and believing also that we are entitled – an entitlement idea of saying, ‘We fought for our liberation, now we are entitled to get these things for free’, and it doesn’t work like that.”
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Maponya, who has been involved in several different spheres of business, recently announced that he would be launching an institute for skills and entrepreneurship development.
The South African business mogul stated that he has received interest from both the private and public sectors regarding the initiative and indicated that his primary targets for the institute are the youth.
“It’s the mindset, and I think that is something that we have to tackle. As a matter of fact, the reason I want to train young people [is] I want to target the mindset, to turn it around so that we think differently,” he said.
(READ MORE: Young people light the way towards an innovative Africa)
In terms of his thoughts on Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and whether or not it is accomplishing what it was created for, Maponya emphasised the fact that there is still much to be done.
“BEE was a well-thought of thing. I think, when they brought it into being, they thought it was going to empower people down [on] the ground but unfortunately, BEE is not really working,” he explained.
“It needs to be restructured. Only the people who are connected really benefit from BEE. I see it being abused also by our white counterparts.”