Youth unemployment problematic - Ramaphosa

2014-06-16 15:20
Cyril Ramaphosa  (Denzil Maregele, Media24)

Cyril Ramaphosa (Denzil Maregele, Media24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kimberley - South Africa's youth unemployment could be the country's single most critical challenge, said Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday.

"If we could effectively address youth unemployment, not only would we lift millions of South Africans out of poverty, but we would also place our economy on a trajectory of sustainable, inclusive growth," said Ramaphosa at the national youth day commemoration in Galeshewe, in the Northern Cape.

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

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

The deputy president said the country needed to focus on special measures to ensure that the 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 co-ordinated and multi-pronged 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 2.7bn 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.

Executive chair of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Yershen Pillay told the gathering South Africa's young people needed to take responsibility for their own future.

He said various deliberate efforts had been made to develop the youth.

"Many received support, but many more need support."

He said the NYDA would work with government to develop the youth.

"Together we would facilitate development with the society."

He urged the private and public sectors to priorities youth service everywhere.

Read more on:    nyda  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  kimberley  |  politics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


China's air pollution at doomsday levels

China has long been struggling with air pollution issues but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – it has.



Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping
How safe are your baby products?
5 maps that will change the way you see the world

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.