State of the Nation  2024


Strengthening livelihoods, youth enterprise and self-employment

The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI) seeks to enable more local economic activity in rural and township economies that have growth potential.

Supporting economic activity in local communities

Addressing the deep-rooted and structural issues hampering economic growth in marginalised settings requires joint and sustained action. Led by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), the PYEI activities focus on facilitating greater partnership among the different stakeholders in the ecosystem. Practically, the PYEI has convened relevant departments and agencies into a coordination committee that aligns strategies for local economic development in line with the District Development Model. The PYEI also links closely with the efforts of Operation Vulindlela to improve infrastructure and reduce administrative barriers that stifle the establishment and growth of SMMEs.

Youth Working

Enabling environments for young entrepreneurs

Starting and operating a business or becoming self-employed is particularly challenging for young people, who often lack the network, skills and experience to establish their product or service in the market. The PYEI is establishing a Local Ecosystem Enablement Fund to support aggregator platforms and intermediaries. This can facilitate greater access to markets and improve the ecosystem for SMMEs in rural and township economies. This may include short- and medium-term interventions that increase the availability of support and services for businesses, including internet access and other essentials that SMMEs need to achieve sustainability and create earning opportunities.

Through the NPMN, the PYEI will create greater visibility and reach for these services, so that prospective young entrepreneurs can access the support they need. A pilot project in Empangeni (KwaZulu-Natal) will evaluate how the NPMN can expand its role in supporting young people in starting their own businesses.

Get involved

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As a young person, register on, access Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or check out the Kheta career advice portal. You can also download the mPowa app. Here, you can build your profile and access opportunities in your vicinity for youth service, further learning or work. If you cannot access, look for a DEL Labour Centre or NYDA Youth Office near you. You can also call the toll-free hotline at 0800 72 72 72.

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As a service organisation interested in supporting businesses, visit the website of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) regularly to check for progress in setting up the LEEF. Once the fund is established, information will be made widely available.

Youth Working

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