One million paid internships for jobless youth - Ramaphosa

Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday promised to facilitate paid work for jobless youth and announced that the mandate of competition authorities is being expanded to eliminate monopoly control as part of government's focus on radical economic transformation.

"We must convince those who have not yet understood that we cannot grow and sustain an economy that excludes black people‚ the majority of whom are African and female‚" he told a Nedlac event in Pretoria.

"Radical social and economic transformation is about creating a South Africa where all its citizens‚ black and white‚ share equitably in the country’s economy.

"It is about implementing programmes that deracialise ownership and control of our economy to benefit South Africans as a whole.

"This means we must change the ownership structure of our economy.

". . . Through this work‚ and by using more effectively government procurement and licensing‚ we must build an army of emerging black businesses."

He added South Africa should also do more to redress youth poverty and unemployment.

"Many of them lack the requisite skills to meet the demands of a modern and diversified economy. Many of those that have an education and skills continue to face marginalisation in the economy since many employers prefer experienced workers. We need to agree on a social compact that will absorb many of our young people in skills training programmes‚ internships and employment opportunities.

"This year will see the implementation of the Youth Employment Service‚ which has the potential to revolutionise the absorption of young people into the labour market‚" he said.

"The result of collaboration between social partners‚ this initiative aims to place a million unemployed youth in paid internships over the next three years."

Ramaphosa endorsed the implementation of free higher education for the children of the poor and working class‚ which he said "will also do much to accelerate the inclusion of the majority of poor black young South Africans in the economy".