AT a youth empowerment indaba hosted by Matatiele Local Municipality last Friday, young people were told to look for opportunities that will develop them. The two-day indaba was opened by Thamsanqa Somtseu, general manager of corporate services at the Matatiele Local Municipality, who said young people can contribute to the local economy by opening businesses. He said young people must seek opportunities in agriculture because the area has a lot of fertile land. Iit is estimated that 47% of the youth are unemployed, this according to the municipality. The municipality said the aim of the indaba was to provide a platform for the youth to organise, network, learn and share ideas that can brighten their future. Stakeholders and government institutions were represented and committed to assist with bursaries and job opportunities. A panel discussion, which tackled youth challenges, was held by Nicky McLeod from Umzimvubu Catchment Partnership Programme, Trevor Ramncwana from Department of Labour, Yanga Stuurman, a student from UKZN, and Theo Wessels. McLeod encouraged youth contribution into the green economy. “Many young people are unemployed and as a result they become involved in crime, which is not good. I want young people to seek bursaries to pursue careers in environmental studies,” said McLeod. Ramncwana said there are job opportunities for young people in the labour department. Matatiele has no national youth development agency offices, however, there are offices that deal with youth empowerment at the municipality.