E-bikes tackling youth unemployment in South Africa.

E-bikes tackling youth unemployment in South Africa. Image: Flickr

E-bikes combatting youth unemployment in South Africa

Green Riders is combatting youth unemployment and making deliveries more sustainable by making a change in the youth of South Africa.

E-bikes tackling youth unemployment in South Africa.

E-bikes tackling youth unemployment in South Africa. Image: Flickr

Green Riders is transforming the delivery industry and addressing youth unemployment.

E-bikes delivery bringing more jobs for the youth

Introduced in 2022, Green Riders has enlisted more than 1,000 young individuals in South Africa, offering them employment opportunities by delivering fast food and products utilizing environmentally friendly e-bikes.

The project aims to generate 50 000 job opportunities for young people within the next five years, providing training and employment in the expanding delivery industry.

According to Cape Town etc, conventional delivery methods in South Africa heavily depend on petrol-driven vehicles, leading to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

However, Green Riders’ electric bicycles help decrease the carbon footprint.

South Africa grapples with a significant issue of youth unemployment, with more than 4.7 million young individuals without jobs.

Green Riders is addressing this challenge by offering training initiatives and job prospects that don’t necessitate a motorbike license, thus making it more accessible to a broader range of young people.

Green Riders are not just empowering young people but also advocating for improved infrastructure and policies to assist e-bike riders.

Through national expansion and collaboration with similar-minded businesses, Green Riders seeks to uplift communities, alleviate poverty, enhance education, and promote environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions.

Unveiling South Africa’s silent youth underemployment crisis

Numerous young South Africans holding post-matric credentials struggle to secure fulfilling jobs, often trapped in recurring cycles of underemployment.

Sabelo Mpisi a  Visiting Research Fellow in the Youth African Research Fellowship (YARF) at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), located within the Inclusive Economic Development unit (IED) has been working as a Visiting Young African Research Fellow at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Cape Town, contributing to the “The Imprint of Education” (TIE) project.

The project analyses how young people transition into the workforce after completing their university education in Africa.

It focuses on understanding the challenges they face due to structural barriers in the job market, which often hinder their ability to secure meaningful employment.

According to Daily Maverick, The pandemic caused a surge in unemployment as businesses laid off workers and reduced working hours due to restrictions on movement and contact. This shift challenged our traditional notions of work.

It led to the closure of some businesses that could not adapt—government lockdowns, particularly at Level 5, restricted movement, allowing only essential operations to continue.

Youth unemployment reports often overlook the multifaceted nature of the problem, neglecting factors like race, gender, location, and education level.

The government’s efforts to address youth unemployment have led to implementing various interventions, including the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI), introduced as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Launched in December 2020, the PYEI comprises three main components: the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES), Operation Vulindlela, and the Educator Assistant Initiative (EAI). The PES, touted as the most extensive youth employment program in South Africa’s history, has provided input vouchers to nearly a quarter-million subsistence farmers, supported about 100,000 early childhood development practitioners, assisted around 40,000 young creatives, and facilitated employment for graduates in alignment with their qualifications at nearly 30 universities.

While the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) aims to address youth unemployment, offering short-term contracts to unemployed young South Africans aged 18-34 with a matric qualification and not currently studying may not effectively combat the issue.

Instead, it could potentially trap them in ongoing cycles of underemployment, as discussed later.

The initiative offers positions in two main categories of vacancies. The first category involves roles as Education Assistants, tasked with providing support to teachers during and after class, assisting students with lessons, addressing misunderstandings, and identifying challenges in teaching methods.