South Africa: Jobless Youth One of Ramaphosa's Main Priorities


South Africa's slow economic growth has had a detrimental impact on the youth, with close to two-thirds sitting without work. Ramaphosa said this year's SONA was about 'inclusive growth', making a number of promises to eradicate the youth unemployment crisis and give young people meaningful access to the economy.

Ramaphosa raised what he has continuously called the "crisis" of youth unemployment during his SONA 2020 speech.

Statistics released this week by StatsSA show that close to 60% of youth aged 15 to 24 years old are unemployed.

During his address, Ramaphosa outlined that a two-pronged approach was necessary to combat joblessness among the youth: access to jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities.

The Presidential Youth Employment Initiative, which Ramaphosa also discussed during a pre-SONA dialogue in Cape Town, is the primary plan that the government will implement to combat the crisis at hand.

The six-step, five-year plan includes:

Launching five prototype websites in five provinces in February 2020 to reach three million young people and connect them with work opportunities while providing training;

Providing short courses to steer young people into future high-demand sectors;

Supporting youth entrepreneurship;

Scaling up the Youth Employment Service and working with TVET colleges to ensure young people...

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