Minister in the Presidency, Mr. Mondli Gungubele
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Mrs. Patricia de Lille
Senior Officials of Government present
All Media representatives present
Ladies and Gentlemen
Thank you Minister Gungubele,
As Government, we have been very consistent in our fight against unemployment, poverty and inequality. We continue to resist and refuse any attempts to defocus us. We are steadfast and resolute in fighting unemployment, inequality and eradication of poverty in our lifetime!
The President has championed the cause of youth unemployment through the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention launched in February 2020 - and through a number of programmes which place the issue of youth unemployment at the centre of economic policy, economic stimulus and the ERRP (Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Programme).
The Presidential Employment Stimulus supports a wide range of programmes, which are being implemented by fifteen national departments in Phase 2.
Many of the programmes have an explicit focus on youth, given the severity of youth unemployment in South Africa. In Phase 1, 84% of participants across all programmes – including public employment and livelihoods support – were young people below the age of 35, and two-thirds of all participants were women.
Phase 2 of the employment stimulus is supporting the implementation of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, which aims to provide support and expand opportunities for young people who are unemployed. A total of R838 million has been allocated for this programme as part of the overall budget for the stimulus.
As part of this intervention, the Department of Employment and Labour is leading the establishment of the national Pathway Management Network, which is also known as SA Youth. This network allows young people to register and receive active support to find employment, and aggregates opportunities from a wide range of partners within and beyond government.
The President officially launched SA Youth on 16 June 2021. Young people were encouraged to access the network through various channels, including the SAYouth.mobi platform which has been zero-rated by all mobile operators and currently has more than 2 million young people registered. Young people can also access the network through 126 labour centres as well as NYDA centres across the country.
In Phase 1 of the employment stimulus, a total of 170,000 unemployed youth were placed into various work opportunities through the pathway management network (of which 132,406 were placed as school assistants and 2,000 were placed in jobs in global business services).
The Pathway Management Network will provide an entry point for young people to access opportunities during Phase 2 of the stimulus, by registering their profile on SAYouth.mobi.
DEL is also establishing a new innovation fund for partners of the Pathway Management Network working together with the Jobs Fund. The innovation fund will identify and support innovative solutions to barriers faced by young people in the labour market.
Phase 2 of the stimulus will also support demand-led training as a new approach to skills development that links training for young people directly to jobs that are available.
Finally, the stimulus will support the recruitment of 35,000 young people as part of a revitalised National Youth Service, which will be expanded further in future years.
We are encouraged by many private sector companies that are creating employment opportunities and call on many more companies big and small which have not yet committed a number of jobs for young people to do so, because tackling youth unemployment requires all of us to play our part!