For South African Youth Day, President Cyril Ramaphosa will be spearheading a range of measures to create opportunities for South Africans and curb unemployment.
This comes after Statistics SA released the national unemployment figures two weeks ago. As per the report, the official unemployment rate growing to a record high of 32.6%.
Consequently, youth unemployment is currently at 63.3% for 15 to 24-year-olds and 41.3% for 25 to 34-year-olds.
In response, Ramaphosa stated South African youth unemployment is his government’s biggest concern.
“Today the greatest struggle young people wage is against unemployment, something that has worsened under the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ramaphosa stated.
Furthermore, he added that creating more opportunities for Africans, and supporting young people to access these opportunities, are the government’s foremost priority as of late.
This year’s South African Youth Day is themed “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society.”
Government efforts, headed by Ramaphosa, are geared towards accelerating economic growth, particularly in labor-intensive sectors. This includes the establishment of a National Pathway Management Network, South African Youth.
The network aims to make it easier for young people to view and access opportunities for Africans. On top of this, the youth will receive active support to find pathways into the labor market.
“Young people are our greatest asset and our greatest weapon in this fight,” Ramaphosa added, concluding that young people must be at the center of any effort to boost youth employment.
About Youth Day
Youth Day commemorates the 45th anniversary of the June 16 Soweto uprising. It marks a time in South African history when young people protested against the imposition of Afrikaans by the apartheid regime as a medium of instruction.
Furthermore, the declaration honors the contribution of the youth in the struggle for the liberation of South Africa.