President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
In his address, Ramaphosa touched on the job crisis in South Africa as well as youth unemployment and various ways that government has been able to create jobs.
Ramaphosa said that Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) which was launched in 2020 has created 1.7 million work and livelihood opportunities. Through PES, more than 1 million teacher assistants were place in 23000 schools that has given them valuable work experience.
Another initiative that Ramaphosa touched on was SAYouth.mobi which was established through the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative.
The zero-rated platform which offers young people access to opportunities for earning and learning has over 4.3 million engaging with it while 1.6 million young people have secured job opportunities.
Ramaphosa said that government in worth with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has created a number of initiatives to provide job opportunities for young people like the National Youth Service and the Youth Employment Service (YES).
Along with creating jobs for young people, the NYDA has also played an essential role in helping young people start their own businesses.
The president highlighted the almost five-fold increase in jobs in executive management held by black people between 1996 and 2016.
Despite the high unemployment rate, Ramaphosa said that number of South Africans that are employed has increased from 8 million in 1994 to more than 16.7 million now.
Although employment is growing, more people are entering the job market than employment opportunities are being created.
According to Ramaphosa, more jobs are going to be created in renewable energy, green hydrogen, green steel and electric vehicles.
Government will also give special focus to regions like Mpumalunga to create sustainable jobs.
The president also mentioned that two million people lost their jobs due to Covid-19 however there are more people that have jobs than before the pandemic.
The special SRD grant that was introduce during the Covid-19 pandemic currently helps nine million unemployed people.
Ramaphosa said that they have seen the benefits of the grant. Government will be extending and improving the grant as the next step towards income support unemployed people.