President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses youth unemployement challenge on June 16

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the youth day commemoration at Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. The 16th of June 1976 was a watershed moment in South African history. On this day, over 20,000 Soweto youth took to the streets in protest of a Bantu Education Department decree mandating the use of Afrikaans as a medium of teaching in secondary schools.

Addressing the scores of youth the president took an opportunity to highlight a national major problem of youth unemployment in his keynote address.


“We also launched the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which encourages public and social employment and has created about 880,000 jobs since inception. The school helpers program has placed thousands of people in jobs and is a hallmark initiative of the employment stimulus.”

He further elaborated on programs created by the government to curb the high-speed number of youth unemployment, “The latest program to be launched through the job stimulus is the Social Employment Fund.” He went on to say, “The Social Employment Fund is the latest program to be launched through the employment stimulus.” It has started recruiting 50,000 people in the areas of community safety, food and nutrition, digital inclusion, sports, arts, and recreation. On the State of the Nation website, we’ve just established a new dashboard for the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. Over 2.9 million young people have joined our National Pathway Management Network, which connects them to opportunities for earning, learning, and assistance.

Since its inception SA Youth Mobi an employment network for South African youth to access study and work opportunities from a data-free network. It has helped over 600,000 young people find work and has provided support to many more, such as interview preparation, job searching, and entrepreneurial training.

The unemployment rate for those aged 15-24 is 63.9%, and for those aged 25-34 years is 42.1%, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022.

The President has urged the youth to seize opportunities that have been created to help them advance. “Another noteworthy effort that has attained key milestones in the last year is the Youth Employment Service or YES. YES has produced approximately 82,000 quality job opportunities for young South Africans through collaborations with the business sector. Salary payments alone have pumped almost R4.6 billion into the economy. Corporate partners use the Kids Employment Service to develop their own workforces by providing youth with job experience in future industries. Digital, drones, green economy, urban farming, mining, global business services, creative industries, and many others are among them.”

In order to combat the high rate of youth unemployment, the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition has established a fund that will support an enabling ecosystem for young people to engage in forms of enterprise and self-employment. This fund will provide young entrepreneurs with the capital and networks they need to grow their start-up businesses.

The National Youth Development Agency and the Department of Small Business Development provided financial and other enterprise help to 7,500 young people in the previous financial year, while over 30,000 young people got other enterprise support.

R350 SRD grant 

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