Ramaphosa calls on youth to be innovative in fight against unemployment

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says the energies of the country’s youth must also be directed towards fighting for equitable access to health care.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has said the Covid-19 pandemic “has exacerbated an already dire situation” of youth unemployment in South Africa, which remains the country’s “greatest challenge”.

In his Youth Day message issued on Monday, Ramaphosa said the country would now “look to the innovative and pioneering spirit” of its young people “to come up with solutions to the unemployment crisis, that will benefit them, their communities and society”.

“Through programmes like the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative, the National Youth Service, and many more, we want to support this country’s young people to see their ideas through from incubation to opening the doors of their businesses,” the message reads.

The president says the energies of the country’s youth must also be directed towards fighting for equitable access to health care, for the transformation of land ownership and for gender justice.

The president challenged young South Africans “to craft and design programmes that will enable” the country “to meet [its] developmental goals”.

According to the results of Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter of 2019, of the 20.4 million young people aged 15-34 years, 40.1% were not in employment, education or training.

The country will on Tuesday commemorate Youth Day, commemorating the 16 June Soweto uprising of 1976.

Makhosandile Zulu

The Citizen