Hope for un­em­ployed South Africans

Vuk'uzenzele - - From The Union Buildings -

Un­em­ploy­ment is the big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing our coun­try and it has a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on the econ­omy and com­mu­ni­ties.

One of the main con­tribut­ing fac­tors to un­em­ploy­ment is an econ­omy that has not been in­clu­sive. This means that most peo­ple don’t have the op­por­tu­nity to own as­sets or de­velop skills.

When you want to start a busi­ness for ex­am­ple, you need cash.

His­tor­i­cally, this means those who have ac­cess to cap­i­tal and prop­erty will al­ways be at an ad­van­tage.

While progress has been made in lift­ing mil­lions of peo­ple out of dire poverty, many South Africans still face great hard­ship.

The jobs that have been cre­ated over the past few years have not kept pace with the growth of the pop­u­la­tion or the ex­pan­sion of the work­force.

South Africa’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct needs to grow at a min­i­mum of three per­cent per year to cre­ate ba­sic jobs for peo­ple. Be­cause our growth rate is less than 1.5 per­cent this has be­come a real prob­lem.

How­ever, we are ris­ing to the chal­lenge of un­em­ploy­ment by work­ing to­gether, as we did at the re­cent Pres­i­den­tial Jobs Sum­mit that brought to­gether gov­ern­ment, labour, busi­ness and com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The Sum­mit was fruit­ful and proved that by work­ing to­gether we can make progress in erad­i­cat­ing the bur­den of job­less­ness.

At the end of the Sum­mit, we signed agree­ments that have the po­ten­tial to cre­ate about 275 000 jobs per year.

The frame­work agree­ment and the Sum­mit de­lib­er­a­tions will pro­vide hope and dig­nity to un­em­ployed South Africans and in­ject new en­ergy into the econ­omy, along­side gov­ern­ment’s re­cently an­nounced eco­nomic stim­u­lus and re­cov­ery plan.

Some of the agree­ments in­clude the fol­low­ing: In­vest­ment of R100 bil­lion (over five years) in black en­ter­prises and firms in the in­dus­trial sec­tor.

Bizniz in a Box Youth Em­pow­er­ment Pro­gramme to equip young peo­ple with en­trepreneurial skills and ac­tual busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. Com­pa­nies will buy goods and ser­vices from South African busi­nesses – big and small - to cre­ate more jobs and save those that al­ready ex­ist.

Fin­find youth em­ploy­ment and SMME fund­ing to pro­vide train­ing for un­em­ployed youth.

R1.5 bil­lion for a new Small­holder Sup­port Fund and R1.5 bil­lion for the Town­ship En­ter­prise Fund.

Var­i­ous in­ter­ven­tions to cre­ate ca­reer path­ways for the youth through pro­grammes at TVET Col­leges, the In­stal­la­tion Re­pair and Main­te­nance Ini­tia­tive, and in the fields of health and, travel and tourism.

Ex­pan­sion of a Hub Model and in­cu­ba­tors for SMME devel­op­ment.

Haram­bee, work­ing with all so­cial part­ners, will strengthen its path­way man­age­ment sys­tem to en­sure that 1.5 mil­lion young peo­ple are part of an ac­tive net­work of work seek­ers and, that 500 000 young work-seek­ers are able to en­ter first jobs or on path­ways to gen­er­at­ing an in­come to sus­tain them­selves.

Mak­ing sure that gov­ern­ment sticks to its prom­ise to spend 30 per­cent of its pro­cure­ment on SMMEs and co­op­er­a­tives.

Strong fo­cus on Early Child­hood Devel­op­ment (ECD), in­clud­ing the KYB En­ter­prise In­cu­ba­tor, to sup­port women-owned ECD cen­tres. Build­ing of 48 hu­man set­tle­ment projects which will pro­vide 635 0000 hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties by 2019. So­cial part­ners also made firm com­mit­ments to strengthen the Buy South African cam­paign by en­cour­ag­ing all cit­i­zens to sup­port lo­cal busi­ness by buy­ing goods that are man­u­fac­tured in our coun­try.

By do­ing this we will be play­ing our part in cre­at­ing the en­vi­ron­ment that we be­lieve will grow the econ­omy.

The Buy South African cam­paign will also mo­ti­vate gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to buy lo­cally made prod­ucts, which in­crease do­mes­tic de­mand and cre­ates more jobs.

The Sum­mit was just the be­gin­ning. Just a few days ago we held an in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ment con­fer­ence in our quest to cre­ate jobs in our coun­try.

The in­vest­ment con­fer­ence is part of the drive to get $100 bil­lion in new in­vest­ment – by in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic in­vestors - into our econ­omy over the next five years. South Africa is a good des­ti­na­tion for in­vestors and we are look­ing to make it easy for in­vestors to in­vest so that they can cre­ate jobs.

You can also play your part in im­prov­ing and grow­ing our econ­omy. The most im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion ev­ery in­di­vid­ual can make is to buy lo­cally pro­duced goods by, for ex­am­ple, choos­ing to pur­chase fruits and veg­eta­bles grown in South Africa help to grow the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try.

It is equally im­por­tant for South Africans to sup­port the small busi­ness sec­tor. Sup­port en­trepreneurs in their en­deav­ours as small and mi­cro en­ter­prise are cen­tral to in­clu­sive growth and job cre­ation.

To­gether we can un­lock the full po­ten­tial of small and mi­cro en­ter­prises through in­creased lo­cal­i­sa­tion.

Lo­cal is not just lekker. Lo­cal saves busi­nesses, jobs, lives, fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

Look out for our flag or “made in South Africa” when you’re out shop­ping.

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