State of the Nation Address 2023



State of the Nation Address 2023

Leave No One Behind Leave No One Behind

Two million more young people will have jobs

Why this?

Levels of unemployment are highest among the youth, and young people face the greatest challenges in accessing economic opportunities. If this is not addressed, poverty and inequality will merely deepen.

NDP Target

Increase employment from 13 million in 2010 to 24 million in 2030. Reduce overall unemployment rate to 6%.

To reach this goal, we will:

  • Implement the Presidential Jobs Summit Agreement, including the expansion of youth oriented sectors including tourism, IT repair and maintenance, coding, back office processing, construction and similar.
  • A massive national pathway management network will assist around 750,000 young people each year to prepare for the world of work and source opportunities for employment or self-employment.
  • The private sector have committed to ensuring that they place 2 million youth in one-year paid work experience opportunities. Business and government will ensure that real work opportunities are available for student and graduate interns, and for students engaged in learnerships and apprenticeships.
  • Implement the National Youth Service to absorb around half a million youth in productive social service.
  • Expand opportunities for youth in public employment programmes by around 2.5 million.

Create Employment

Two million more young people will be in employment

It is … essential that we proceed without delay to implement a comprehensive plan – driven and coordinated from the Presidency – to create no fewer than two million new jobs for young people within the next decade.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA 2019

Government’s plan to create employment opportunities for young people on a far greater scale will work across government departments and all three tiers of government, in partnership with the private sector.

The National Youth Service Programme (NYSP), along with government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Youth Employment Service (YES) will continue to work towards reducing the rate of joblessness among the youth.

Pathway management networks

We are … working with the private sector to create pathways into work for young people through scaling up existing pathway management networks.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA 2019

These networks allow young people who opt in increased visibility, network support and opportunities to signal their availability for jobs and self-employment.

The Expanded Public Works Programme

Government will continue to provide employment through the Expanded Public Works Programme, especially in labour-intensive areas like maintenance, clearing vegetation, plugging water leaks and constructing roads.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA 2019

The National Youth Service (NYSP)

We will expand the National Youth Service to take on 50,000 young people a year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA 2019

The National Youth Service (NYSP) under the National Youth Development Agency is the largest service programme for young people in the country, allowing them to become involved in activities and access services that contribute to their learning and personal development. These activities are in line with the national development objectives.

Youth Employment Service (YES)

We will expand our programmes to enable young people to gain paid workplace experience through initiatives like the Youth Employment Service, and also facilitating work-based internships for graduates of technical and vocational programmes.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA 2019

The YES initiative was launched in 2018 as a partnership between government, civil society and private companies in an effort to create a million new 12-month job opportunities for young people.

This year, YES will be focusing on drawing in more corporate partners, as well as establishing additional community hubs across the country, which provide unemployed young people with the services and environment for business development, route to market and skills training.

Supporting youth entrepreneurs

Given the key role small businesses play in stimulating economic activity and employment, government will be rolling out small business incubation centres to provide youth-driven start-ups with financial and technical advice.

The incubators provide young people with services, infrastructure, specialised knowledge, access to finance and more as they start their entrepreneurial journey.

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