One of the resolutions of the African National Congress (ANC)’s 54th conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg in 2017 was to place the youth in the private and public sectors to gain skills needed in the workplace.
This was to ensure the youth are ready to be employable or to start their own businesses in a quest to decrease the high unemployment rate among the youth.
Thabiso Radebe spoke to some youths in the Northern Cape, to assess whether the initiative has borne fruit.
Youth in South Africa continue to be disadvantaged in the labour market. Statistics SA has revealed that the unemployment rate among the youth is higher than the national average.
Despite reports that the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative created about 100 000 job opportunities at public schools around the country, 28-year-old Asanda Cwaile of Galeshewe in Kimberley, Northern Cape, says they haven’t benefitted from the government’s skills programmes.
She has been unemployed since leaving school. But, fortunately, she is among the youth in her township, who are currently getting skills in brick manufacturing.
“I’ve been watching people’s laundry and helping out people in their homes just to like as a cleaning service as a cleaning agent and with a lot of money I can provide for my two sons that I have,” says unemployed youth, Asanda Cwaile.
Motheo Mooketsi who is unemployed says, “like I said you can pass on the skill to other youth which takes you to do something bad. I know you’re going to use it in the smallest perspective they quit selling something different.”
The Northern Cape unemployment rate among the youth stands at 42.4%. While the number of jobless people stands at 32.4 Kaisara Leeuw, coordinator of Re Aga Tlhago Co-operative, says they want to rectify that.
The organisation currently trains youth in Galeshewe in manufacturing clay bricks and also building.
Leeuw says “the reason we started with this project is so that young people can be able to get employment, and in getting employment, they need skills, so we started we started with training first and them being able to work practically with the bricks making of bricks and all that so that they can be able to assist in their community because of we saw that need.”
Meanwhile, Professor Sethulego Matebesi, a political analyst from the University of the Free State, says the ANC should eradicate its stagnant economic policies.
Matebesi says, “ANC and the government are good when formulating policies but it becomes a huge struggle to ensure that some of these policies see the end of the light. That is why it seems some policies are close to the heart of our leaders that seem to be implemented with haste and vigour, not policies with development. That is why unemployment among youth is high.”
The ANC is expected to hold its national conference from June 16 to 20 of this month.
South Africa’s unemployment rate falls to 32.9% in 3Q: