Entrepreneurship the key to jobs

2019-08-20 06:01
James Vos, Mayco member for economic opportunities is on a mission to create job opportunities for the youth.

James Vos, Mayco member for economic opportunities is on a mission to create job opportunities for the youth.

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The unemployment rate in the City of Cape Town is currently at 21.8%, 0.6 of a percentage point more than in the first quarter of the year.

This was indicated in the quarterly labour force survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Tuesday 30 July.

The number of unemployed people in Cape Town increased by 16 000, while employment increased by 5 000 in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter.

The report covers the time frame between April to June 2019 and is a household sample survey conducted by Stats SA. It collects data on the labour market activities of individuals aged 15 years and older who live in South Africa.

In the City of Cape Town, the response rate of the survey was 86.9%

The survey indicates the labour force in Cape Town at 2 030 000 of all age groups, of which 1 589 000 persons are employed and 442 000 are unemployed.

A further 923 000 are economically not active while 14 000 represents discouraged work-seekers.

Of particular concern to the City of Cape Town is the unemployment rate for persons between 15 and 24 years of age.

According to James Vos Mayco member for economic opportunities, this figure was estimated at 44,7% for the first quarter of 2019.

He believes youth entrepreneurship is a large part of the solution to reduce youth unemployment.

“Youth unemployment continues to be problematic and current statistics paint a grim picture, but the solution lies in entrepreneurship,” he says.

“However, young people need not despair as opportunities abound for them to enter the world of entrepreneurship.”

Vos recently visited the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a national agency that focuses on addressing the high unemployment rate in SA.

“Harambee sources candidates from a large pool of young people with high potential but limited work experience.

“It assists them to become work-ready and then through its website connects them to the correct employer in their area,” he explains.

To date, the organisation has placed over 500 000 young people with more than 450 of South Africa’s top companies such as Hollard, Standard Bank, Nando’s, Pick n Pay and Burger King.

“Those interested in joining the network can visit harambee.mobi and follow the steps provided.

“My advice to young people is to consider entrepreneurship as a career.

“This means to tackle the challenges of unemployment instead of looking for a job in a market that offers very limited opportunities and that face extreme economic pressures.”

In turn, entrepreneurs will also be able to create jobs for others and in this way reduce the rising level of unemployment.

“All it takes to get started as an entrepreneur is the right attitude, drive, energy, creativity and perseverance.

Vos personally encourages private companies and potential employers to get involved by hosting unemployed individuals for workplace experience opportunities.

In addition to this, the City is injecting cash into those sectors that promise the most growth, which includes, among others, the clothing and tech industries.

“The focus of these projects will be on skills development.

“But government alone cannot create job opportunities.”

“While we do as much as we can, we need the private sector as partners in this journey to eradicate youth unemployment,” Vos says.

Local entrepreneur Neels Kleynhans says: “If you have an idea, you have to make a decision and get things rolling.”

A year ago, he started a sauce business in his garage, and today his Moer op Als sauce is distributed in towns countrywide.

At first, he did everything himself – from making the sauce, bottling it, sticking on the labels, marketing and delivering.

By November last year, he had secured a producer who assisted with production and the business is growing by the day.

“Think carefully about what will make your product unique before you start,” is his advice to budding entrepreneurs.

“Its hard work and you have to be committed and put all your energy into it.”

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