Business must assist in Youth Employment Accord
Midrand - Business should partner with government in devising an intervention anchored on the pillars of the Youth Employment Accord, says Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
The minister was addressing delegates at the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry annual convention in Midrand on Thursday.
The Youth Employment Accord is a viable and meaningful approach to addressing the challenge of youth unemployment, which Cabinet approved in February earlier this year. The Accord remains a better response than a silver bullet policy response such as a youth wage subsidy.
“In terms of unemployment statistics in South Africa, almost 24.9 percent of people are unemployment and 70 percent of those are young people and it is important that in whatever efforts that we embark on should be geared in dealing with the youth unemployment.
“The global economic down turn fell very hard particularly on young people, so our collective efforts and investment in infrastructure as government and social partners ought to be accompanied by investment in skills development, particularly for the benefit of the youth.
“Business should partner with government in devising (an) intervention anchored on the pillars of the Youth Employment Accord,” she said.
According to the Minister, the Youth Accord that was signed in April is starting to bear fruit.
Peters also emphasised the importance of improving education and training opportunities for school leavers and graduates with learnerships as well as with internships.
“Young people should continue to be connected to employment opportunities through support for job placement schemes. Every workplace turns out to be a training ground. Youth targets should be set aside for certain industries particularly new industries where young people could be drawn in large scale.
“I believe that in the transport sector, there are equally so many opportunities to have set aside for young people. Youth entrepreneurship and corporate support should be accelerated and the private sector is also expected to expand its intake of young people,” she said.
Minister Peters said the relevance and the application of the Youth Employment Accord cut across all government departments and sectors of the economy. She further said each of the role players, including business, should contribute to the success of the Youth Accord.
The financial commitment, made as part of the Youth Employment Accord, totalling R3 billion over the next 5 years through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) is expected to go a long way in facilitating the growth and development of young entrepreneurs in South Africa.
With regard to the Gauteng e-tolling system, Peters reiterated that the implementation of the electronic tolling (e-tolling) system on Gauteng’s upgraded freeways will go live before the end of the year.
“Very soon we will be starting the process of publicising the tariff structure, which will be open for public comment for a 30-day period, so as government, we want to urge motorists and those who frequently visit Gauteng to register for e-tags. We also want to inform our public that the taxi and bus industry is going to be exempted,” she said. - SAnews.gov.za