Solidarity Fund explained

President Cyril Ramaphosa / Image via: GCIS

Ramaphosa unveils radical transformation plan for youth unemployment

The president believes that entrepreneurship is an answer to the question of how to tackle youth unemployment.

Solidarity Fund explained

President Cyril Ramaphosa / Image via: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his weekly “From the Desk of the President”, reflected on a State of the Nation Address (SONA 2020) that revealed the importance of investing in the youth.

Aside from the usual drama of the occasion, Ramaphosa noted some positives in engagements he held with youth leaders on the eve of SONA 2020.

Ramaphosa unveils Presidential Youth Employment Intervention pprogramme

The president led an intergenerational dialogue convened by the National Youth Development Agency on Wednesday 12 February, where he heard the cries of the youth, most of which have struggled to access the economy.

He indicated that while the youth’s general outlook on the country’s future prospects remains positive, there were glaring problems with the labour market’s inability to sustain 1.2 million youthful entrants every year.

“Of the 1.2 million young people entering the labour market each year, almost two-thirds remain neither working nor studying. The participants in the dialogue welcomed the fact that the issue of youth employment was receiving attention at the highest levels of government.

“But the refrain was familiar: they were ready and able to contribute to the economy in various ways, including as entrepreneurs, but bureaucratic red tape and lack of funding prevent them from doing so,” Ramaphosa wrote.

As a way of tackling youth unemployment, Ramaphosa launched the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, a “strategic national vision and plan which sets out priority actions to address youth unemployment”.

This is what we know about the programme:

  • It includes a national pathway management network that matches candidates with work opportunities;
  • Specialised short focused courses in skills that employers need;
  • The intervention will support the growth of youth entrepreneurs; and
  • Provides opportunities for young people to give back to their communities.

Ramaphosa indicated that 1% of the national budget for 2020 will be set aside to fund this youth employment initiative.

“I also announced in the State of the Nation Address that we will set aside 1% of the national budget for a youth employment initiative. A number of programmes and projects are being designed to address this national challenge.

“The youth of our country clearly see this as a land of opportunity and promise, despite the obstacles they encounter,” he said.