Cyril Ramaphosa sets goals for economic transformation

2014-06-16 13:44

Economic transformation will take centre stage during this term, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Economic transformation must and will take centre stage during this new term of government,” Ramaphosa told a national Youth Day commemoration in Galeshewe, in the Northern Cape today.

He said the youth must be at the centre of this economic transformation.

Ramaphosa said although many opportunities had been created for the youth over the past 20 years, young people in the country still faced many problems.

He said the country needed to focus on special measures to ensure that the country’s youth had access to training, work experience, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.

“We must make sure that they are able to take up the opportunities. Go on with their lives.”

Ramaphosa said a coordinated and multipronged response to youth unemployment was needed.

“It must be present in every policy discussion, in every law drafted, in every strategic plan developed,” he said.

Despite the current situation, Ramaphosa said the country had made progress in various areas concerning the youth.

He said twice as many young people were currently in universities than in 1994.

“Nearly half of the six million work opportunities created through the public works and community work programmes were for young people.”

Ramaphosa said in the last five years R 2.7 billion had been set aside for youth entrepreneurship finance and support. The amount available for student bursaries had doubled.

“But we need to do more,” Ramaphosa said.

One problem that needed urgent attention was the relatively low skill levels among unemployed young people.

The deputy president said the country needed to develop the skills that the economy required.

“The intake of students for post-school education would therefore be massively expanded over the next five years,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the aim would be to enrol the majority of youth aged 18 to 23 years.

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