High youth unemployment figures in SA dominated speeches by politicians during Thursday’s Youth Day commemorations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa reflected on his government’s achievements and missed opportunities in creating job opportunities for millions of young people .
Speaking in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, Ramaphosa said youth unemployment and limited access to development opportunities are a legacy of apartheid and have been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, the businesses that employed millions of South Africans continued to shut down.
He said the main focus of rebuilding the economy is creating more opportunities for youth, in addition to initiatives such as the Presidential Youth programmes Employment Intervention and Presidential Employment Stimulus, which created nearly 880,000 job opportunities.
“E A flagship employment support initiative is the School Assistants program which has placed 287,000 young people in sc hools across the country.
“These young people are finding access to meaningful employment while supporting teachers and achieving positive learning outcomes in contribute to our schools,” said Ramaphosa.
EFF leader Julius Malema and DA Chairman John Steenhuisen criticized the ANC government and its failure to uplift and empower youth.
Steenhuisen , speaking at Alexandra in Gauteng, said it had never been so difficult for young people to find meaningful work and training opportunities in SA.
He said having the freedom won by the youth of 1976 does not translate into economic freedom and called for an ongoing fight against this injustice.
“Never before has the future looked so bleak for young South Africans. Never has the prospect of finding meaningful work or leaving school with a decent education been more remote. Why are millions of South Africans, most of them young, excluded from opportunity and our economy? What has our youth done to the ANC to persecute them so much?” asked Steenhuisen.
Malema accused Ramaphosa of “hating” millions of young people who are unemployed. The leader of the arsonists was speaking at a youth day rally in Limpopo.
„It doesn’t matter whether you’re Venda, Tsonga, Pedi or Zulu. What matters is that we want a President who loves SA youth, who prioritizes SA youth and gives SA youth jobs.
“These are Don’t be unemployed because you lack talent. You’re unemployed because Ramaphosa didn’t give you a job,” said Malema.
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