SA invests in youth empowerment

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, has encouraged the youth to utilise all opportunities presented to them by government to grow and create their own businesses.

This as the country commemorates Youth Day on Thursday – a day on which youth took on the apartheid government in protest of educational inequality in 1976.

“The youth are the future of this country and therefore, government remains resolute in creating a favourable and supportive environment for youth to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders.

“The youth of 2022 is called upon to help us build a better tomorrow for everyone. Young people become agents of change, embrace the opportunities provided and rise to the challenge of leading South Africa’s post-COVID-19 recovery,” Gungubele said.

According to the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), government is creating favourable conditions for youth-owned businesses to thrive through Presidential youth employment intervention programmes like the Youth Employment Stimulus and the Social Employment Fund.

“The Youth Employment Stimulus ranges from formal education and training, learnerships and internships, as well as support for youth entrepreneurship. Since its launch in October 2020, the first two phases of the Presidential Employment Stimulus programme supported over 850 000 work opportunities, with 84% of the participants being young people.

“The latest programme to be launched through the employment stimulus is the Social Employment Fund, which has started to recruit 50 000 participants in community safety, food and nutrition, digital inclusion, and sports, arts, and recreation. A further 50 000 participants will be recruited for the revitalised National Youth Service,” the GCIS said in a statement.

Other avenues for youth to explore to find opportunities are the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), the Community Works Programme and the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator.

These, according to the GCIS, “continue to create more job opportunities for the unemployed”.

“The National Youth Development Agency continues to support job creation and youth enterprises. Over 1 100 youth-owned enterprises in the township and rural economy were provided with grant funding to start up their businesses through the NYDA Grant Programme.

“The youth-owned enterprises, supported through the Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund and the NYDA Grant Funding programme, have collectively created and sustained 8 600 jobs in the economy,” the statement read.

The GCIS said government recognises the challenges facing the youth and is determined to resolve these.

“The government acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of young people towards the advancement of the country. It is equally alive to the challenges faced by the youth, such as the high unemployment rate, gender-based violence, and substance abuse. Government remains determined in dealing with the challenges faced by the youth,” the GCIS said. –