One of the great troubles of the modern world in any country, whether developed or developing is the problem surrounding unemployment. Especially in that part of the 21st century where mankind has relegated machine to do the better part of work in the most wide-reaching spheres of life, it’s hardly a surprise that the problem of unemployment is a growing or rampant one. And when one looks at Africa, fast transforming into an enterprising space having shed the haunting image of the ‘dark continent’ as it was once known as, the problem still persists. Particularly so, where it comes to South Africa.
Though, it is an undisputed fact that South Africa happens to be the entire continent’s third-largest economy, the great current concern staring the country right in the eye is the growing crisis surrounding unemployment. And recently, president Cyril Ramaphosa explained his perspective on the issue that cannot be tucked under the carpet for it is quite like the elephant in the room.
That being said, let’s first take into account the point that, at the present, there is no fewer than 46 per cent of unemployment of the country that once prided itself being called the ‘Rainbow Nation!’
Now, just take into consideration the gravity of the situation- when nearly half of your youth population is operating minus a job, just where are you heading as a country? Moreover, how soon can you get into a problem-solving mode?
The greatest struggle, therefore, that faces the country’s government is the right means to avert the problem that isn’t a small hiccup, but a burgeoning one. So let’s come directly to the question- just what did Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa have to say about the great nadir hurting South Africa’s future and hopes?
Everything that we do as a government contributes towards improving the lives of young people,” said the president. But he would add, “Tackling youth unemployment requires accelerating economic growth, particularly in labour-intensive sectors, and building the capability of the state to fulfil its developmental role.”
Making no bones about the fact that at present, the most important priority of his government is to create new job opportunities for South Africa’s youth. Moreover, he admitted his government would be very keen to assist the youngsters in the process of accessing these opporunities.
Now, where it comes to creating new job opportunities for a youth largely stagnant at the moment, it appears that some of the new and fast-growing sectors could be where the focus would be from the South African government’s point of view.
In that regard, it must also be noted that last year, before the country went into a national lockdown, South Africa had launched a specific-to-job-creation initiative titled Presidential Youth Employment Initiative!
Furthermore, the president Ramaphosa said in addition to his statement the following:
“The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention was built on the understanding that to address the youth unemployment crisis requires innovative thinking and strong partnerships across society.
Its ultimate objective is to find models that work, whether in skills development or active labour market policies, and to scale these models rapidly to reach as many young people as possible.”