By the end of the third quartile of 2022, South Africa’s youth unemployment rate sat at just below 60% for youths aged 15-24 and about 40% for youths aged 25-34. As such, youth job creation has become a great matter of governmental concern.
Nevertheless, at the 2023 State of the Nation Address (Sona), hosted on Thursday, 9 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa did issue some small, but important developments in the employment of South African youths.
The President made mention of the value of Presidential Employment Stimulus, which he drew attention to at the 2022 Sona as well. When mentioned in 2022, President Ramaphosa placed emphasis on the initiative's potential towards job creation.
By the time the 2023 Sona rolled around, the initiative had reportedly created 1 million work opportunities which are said to have reached each province in the country.
It was further explained that just one week prior to the Sona, about 150 000 school assistants had started work in about 22 000 schools countrywide.
The President shared that this new cohort represented a means of “offering dignity, hope and vital work experience to young people who were unemployed”.
Further highlighting the efforts made in increasing employment amongst South African youth, the President also shared:
There are now more than 3 million users registered on SAYouth.mobi, a zero-rated online platform for young South Africans to access opportunities for learning and earning.
The increasing number of youths registered with the SAYouth.mobi platform has been a result of its close collaboration with the National Youth Development Agency “which continues to provide valuable assistance to young entrepreneurs and work seekers”, says President Ramaphosa.
Although these are small wins in the grand scheme of things, the nation’s youth can only hope that this means good things for the future of youth employment.