Confronting youth unemployment -20 February 2023

Office of the Premier 2023/02/20 - 22:00

​Thembisa Shologu

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) is putting youth at the centre of its policies and is investing in human capital projects focused on youth entrepreneurship, education, and skills development.

These programmes have come in handy youth grapple with disappointment and frustration brought forth by unemployment, as many have no access to networks, information about opportunities, exposure to the world of work, and further education.

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63,9% for those aged 15-24 and 42,1% for those aged 25-34, while the current official national rate stands at 34,5%.

Young people constitute 39% of the total population in Gauteng, with 2,3 million of these young people classified as not in education, employment and training.

The provincial government is strengthening the Youth Development Machinery by re-establishing the Youth Directorate in the Office of the Premier and Youth Focal Units in departments to ensure proper coordination of all departmental initiatives and programmes on youth development. 

Last year the provincial government unveiled the Youth Advisory Panel (GYAP) to provide strategic policy advice to the provincial government on all youth development matters in Gauteng and Gauteng Youth Development Strategy (GYDS), which the executive has approved. 

"I am happy to announce that the Provincial Cabinet has approved the Gauteng Integrated Youth Development Strategy (GYIDS) 2030."

The GYIDS, Lesufi said, is a blueprint of how this government will respond comprehensively to the socio-economic challenges facing young people in our province.

"The future belongs to young people, and they must be taught now how to run
Government," Lesufi said in his first State of the Province Address.

In addressing the youth challenge, the Gauteng government has, over the years, committed to procuring goods and services from youth-owned businesses. 

Between April and December 2022, procurement spending amounted to R1.6 billion in youth-owned companies.

Lesufi recommitted to empowering people with disabilities by setting a target of 7% in the procurement spend and supporting their businesses.

Through the Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus programme, the province has
provided more than 100 000 youth with workplace experiences.

By the end of this term, 152 000 young people would be employed by this provincial

Of this, 100 000 for our Expanded Public Works Programme, 40 000
educational and general teacher assistance and 6000 Crime Prevention Wardens.

Moving on to education, Lesufi announced that Gauteng has invested R360 million towards educational bursaries, benefiting 4000 youth in the 2023 academic year. 

Gauteng has received R1.5 billion from the National Treasury to demolish mobile and asbestos schools. About 18 new schools will be rebuilt.

Addressing this issue and learning from the experience of unplaced learners in grades 1 and 8, Gauteng has budgeted R6 billion from our provincial coffers to build new schools in high pressured communities.

As part of bolstering our education system, the province is looking into building an Early Childhood Development Centres of the future, starting in Soshanguve.

The centre, which will offer coding and robotics, will have indoor splash pools, ICT centres, a water recycling area and mini sports areas.


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