Unity government proposes jobs and skills enhancement for youth, Mashatile

Deputy president, Paul Mashatile expressed an optimistic view on Youth Day that the multiparty government is set to create more jobs for young people. Picture: Limpopo Provincial Government (Facebook).

Deputy president, Paul Mashatile expressed an optimistic view on Youth Day that the multiparty government is set to create more jobs for young people. Picture: Limpopo Provincial Government (Facebook).

Published Jun 17, 2024


June 16, a gut-wrenching and historic day that commemorates black learners who stood against Bantu education during an era of subject and racial segregation against black people.

On Sunday, marking 48 years, Deputy President Paul Mashatile delivered a keynote address to the youth of Polokwane at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Limpopo.

Under the theme “Actively embracing the socio-economic gains of democracy”, Mashatile lamented an exacerbated youth unemployment rate, where young people are not active participants of the economy.

According to Statistics SA, the first quarter of 2024 Quarterly Labour Force Survey revealed 32.9% of South Africans are jobless, adding people aged between 15 to 34 account 45.5% of the total unemployment spectrum.

“We need to keep in mind that young people make up more two-thirds of the population, making them the biggest community in South Africa- we cannot move forward without them,” said Mashatile.

Mashatile indicated that the ANC losing an outright majority post elections, implored the former governing party to unite with other political caucuses and bring forth economic emancipation for South Africans.

“Through your vote, you have spoken to us and gave us a clear message. You want us as political leaders to put our differences aside, and work together to build our country and address the challenges that affect our people, particularly the youth of our country. We are determined to use our collective experiences to achieve the National Development Plan for 2030, which aims to eradicate poverty and decrease inequality,” said Mashatile.

He furthermore stated that joblessness continues to economically grapple young people, where they are economically secluded.

Hence, “we must include young people in discussions that influence their current and future growth. We are aware of the challenges the youth faces, which is poverty, poor mental health, social inequality and high levels of unemployment. We must not lose sight of empowering young people economically. Economic growth and transformation, and job creation have been at the forefront of the six administrations programme,” said Mashatile.

Limpopo recorded 32.7% of unemployed residents.

Therefore, Mashatile noted bridging the digital divide for internet access and building information, communication and technology (ICT) infrastructure will open a pool of digital home-based job opportunities.

“We need to equip young people with the necessary skills to adapt in the labour market and especially, the 4th industrial revolution. We must take more steps to connect our communities to ICT infrastructure to bridge the digital divide between the wealthy and disadvantaged. This effort seeks to empower young people in the global society to find employment from the comfort of their homes,” he said.

Mashatile expressed an optimistic view that the multi-party government led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was re-elected on Friday at the first sitting of Parliament, will counter unemployment by creating more jobs and skills development for the youth.

“We are confident that under President Ramaphosa and the ANC-led government of national unity, we will continue to address the challenges facing the young people of this country. In the next five years, we will focus on creating jobs, building an inclusive economy and focus on implementing a programme focused on skilling the youth with skills of the future. We want young people to work, our young people must have work opportunities,” he said.