The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in the Free State says it has noted with concern the high number of unemployed people in the province.
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) released by Statistics South Africa last week, the unemployment rate in the province stands at 35.5 percent.
The NYDA’s Boitumelo Dithebe says of great concern is the persistent increase in youth unemployment. He says there are plans underway to ensure that the youth in the province participates in the economy.
Dithebe, however, adds that the issues of unemployment is not only the responsibility of the government but requires the involvement of the private sector.
According to the report, South Africa’s unemployment in the first quarter of this year increased by 1.2 of a percentage point to 27.7% – the highest since 2003.
Dithebe says their primary role is to address issues faced by the youth. He says through the skills development and entrepreneurship program they help the unemployed youth to enter the labour market and participate in the country’s economy.
Dithebe says they have a grant facility to help with funding entrepreneurs, mentorship programs to enable them to make their businesses sustainable and a marketing program to help them participate in the mainstream economy.
“To contribute towards the fight against unemployment, we have, for example, in our grant facility programme a prerequisite that those helped with funding should create employment for other young people in the province. We ensure that through the grant they are able to empower other people.”
He says they also have a “jobs program” which helps young people find employment through internships and learnerships programs. He says since the beginning of April this year they have thus far managed to help more than 140 young people, but more still needs to be done. He calls on everyone to join hands in helping the youth.
Katleho Morapela- Courant News