DA spokeswoman Refiloe Nt’sekhe. File photo: (DA)

JOHANNESBURG - The opposition Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday it was unacceptable that only 12 percent of entrepreneurs assisted by Gauteng province's social development department over the last five years were still operational.

Out of the 294 businesses assisted by the department, only 35 have survived, DA shadow member of the executive committee (MEC) for social development Refiloe Nt’sekhe said, citing a response from substantive MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to oral questions in the Gauteng provincial legislature.

"Given the poor economic climate of Gauteng, where young people are struggling to find jobs, it is unacceptable that this number is so low," Nt’sekhe said.

During the 2016/2017 financial year 11,180 young people went through the department's youth entrepreneurship programme.

Nt'sekhe said while the department had exceeded its targets in training youth, they were "clearly not being provided with the necessary skills needed to run a successful business".

"The department of social development and the department of economic development in Gauteng need to work together to ensure that more businesses are established by the young people," Nt'sekhe said.

"These businesses should also receive the necessary guidance and support to ensure that they are sustainable."

- African News Agency (ANA)