Government urges youth to embrace opportunities as Youth Day is commemorated


Youth urged to embrace opportunities


Tomorrow, South Africans will commemorate Youth Day, marking the anniversary of the June 16, 1976, Soweto uprising. On that day, the socio-political landscape in South Africa was changed. Youth Day is celebrated annually as a reminder of the importance of youth and their voices. This year, Youth Day will be commemorated under the theme ,“ Promoting sustainable livelihood and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow”.


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 high unemployment rate, gender-based violence, and substance abuse. The government remains determined in dealing with the challenges faced by the youth.


Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele said: “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”.


In helping to draw more young people into the economy, the government has under the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention initiated various youth development and empowerment initiatives to support young people. The Youth Employment stimulus ranges from formal education and training, learner ships 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, of which 84 per cent of the participants were young people.


President Cyril Ramaphosa during his 2022 Budget vote speech, indicated that over the next three years, R25 billion will be allocated to support black women, youth and worker-owned companies. This forms part of the country’s drive to create a new generation of black industrialists, create jobs and transform the economy.


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 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 Expanded Public Works Programme, Community Works Programme and the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator continue to create more job opportunities for the unemployed youth. The Tshepo One Million Programme targets a million young people with skills training, job placement and entrepreneurship development.


Young South African entrepreneurs eager to export their products are encouraged to take up the various avenues of business support available to them by the government. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), continues its drive to support young people to access an incentive scheme, which aims to promote South African companies on the African continent and abroad. It also assists them in finding markets for South African goods and services through the departmental Export Promotion unit.


“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”, concluded Gungubele.


Enquiries: Phumla Williams – GCIS Director General on 0835010139


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