Partnerships key to prosperity, job creation for youth, says Deputy President

Thursday, October 12, 2023
Deputy President Paul Mashatile at the 7th Annual Solutions Exchange Conference.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile says partnerships between business and government are key to strengthening economic recovery and creating thousands of jobs in the energy, transport and logistics sectors.

“We must never undermine the importance of our efforts through structures such as NEDLAC [National Economic Development and Labour Council] and others, because it is indeed through these social compacts that we can further develop our country and empower South Africans,” Mashatile said on Thursday.

Speaking at the 7th Annual Solutions Exchange Conference in Johannesburg, Mashatile said government is encouraged by the pledges signed with 115 CEOs, who have demonstrated their willingness to help to implement some of the interventions undertaken towards socio-economic transformation.

Mashatile said the Department of Employment and Labour has spearheaded the National Pathway Management Network, which is a networking initiative that has brought together over 30 diverse partners to aggregate opportunities from across the economy.

He said the network enables young people to find earning and learning opportunities, enter the labour market and receive the support that they require to establish their own businesses at no cost.

“The SA Youth platform launched by Harambee, through the National Pathway Management Network, has over 4.1 million young people registered and is the largest platform in this network.

“This is an inclusive platform that uses cutting-edge technology such as geo-mapping, which allows for youth to be matched with opportunities closer to their residence, thereby saving transport and other costs.

“It is indeed this niche innovation that has made it possible for young people, who live further away from the economic hubs, to also access economic opportunities, and kick-start their entry into the labour market,” the Deputy President said.

Mashatile said young people have been supported to secure over one million opportunities on the system from over 1 000 opportunity holders.

“Our government remains committed to increasing private sector investment in order to promote job creation. To accomplish this, we have facilitated an investment drive with an initial target of R1.2 trillion over a five-year period.

“We have since mobilised nearly R1.5 trillion in investment commitments, therefore exceeding this goal and many of these investment commitments are expected to translate into actual employment,” he said.

He said the South African economy currently employs 5.1 million youth, 3.4 million of whom are employed in the formal economy.

“As we work closely with the business community to create jobs for our youth, we must not forget the power of entrepreneurship. The State has the responsibility to collaborate with business and the people in co-creating strong economies that enable development to occur,” the Deputy President said.

Mashatile said as leaders of government, business and civil society, they believe in the youth of South Africa, whose contributions will be critical in shaping the future of the economy. –