President Cyril Ramaphosa On Sunday urged the ANC Youth League to play a leading role in getting young people into the labour market.
He said the ANCYL was correct in its assessment that youth unemployment was a ticking time bomb.
The ANCYL had said in its political report that youth unemployment has to be addressed urgently because it was a ticking time bomb.
Ramaphosa said the youth have a role to play in addressing the energy crisis in the country as well.
The energy action plan that government introduced last year was being implemented, said Ramaphosa.
Load shedding remained a serious problem in the country, but the government was attending to it.
Ramaphosa, who was making closing remarks at the Nasrec conference, said the newly elected leadership of the youth league will be a critical voice on issues affecting young people in South Africa.
There were a number of challenges facing the youth and unemployment was one of those issues.
“This newly elected leadership will lead young people at a time when the cost of living in our country is high and unemployment, in particular youth unemployment is unacceptably high,” Ramaphosa said.
“More than 11 million people in our country are unemployed. Critically, for this congress the most recent quarterly labour survey says that youth aged between 15 and 24 years and 24 and 34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 62 percent,” he said.
“Approximately 3.7 million young people between the ages of 15 to 24 were not in employment or training or education. You are therefore correct when you say that youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb.”
Ramaphosa said the issue of the energy crisis must be addressed because it was impacting on the economy.
Earlier on Sunday, Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said the measures they were taking have seen Eskom implementing lower stages of load shedding.
Ramokgopa had said there was also a pipeline of 60GW of renewable energy and these projects are in various stages of implementation across the country.
Ramaphosa also told the ANCYL conference that the structure has lived up to the decision of the National Executive Committee early this year that all structures of the ANC must go to conferences. He said they have managed to hold a successful conference.
The ANC Women’s League and the Veterans League are due to hold their own conferences before the end of July.
The ANC had wanted to start preparing for the elections after all their structures have concluded their conferences.