SA's failure to create jobs for youths is a ticking time bomb
Youth unemployment crisis will blow up in all our faces if ignored.
The ANC government is unable to defuse this time bomb, and each day brings us a few ticks closer to an imminent blast. The sooner the country faces this hard truth, the better.
Nearly 10 million South Africans are unemployed and 6.1 million of that are young people, according to Statistics SA.
The high rate of joblessness among this demographic is difficult to comprehend given the sheer amount of their skills and willingness to help build the country, but are forced to simply look on as the economy continues in its downward spiral.
Many youths have given up looking for work, unable to keep up with the costs of looking for a job.
Some, as a last resort, stand on intersections holding up placards listing their qualifications and contact details as they are simply unable to print CVs.
There are also those that end up turning into crime out of desperation, further disruptingsociety.
Being a young person under President Cyril Ramaphosa's is still as it was under Jacob Zuma's administration. The youth were neglected under Zuma's leadership and this has not changed today. For many of our peers, Ramaphosa's "New Dawn" has come to represent the death of their hopes and dreams.
Blogger #Sidikiwe posted: We will meet Ramaphosa wherever he is. If this problem is not addressed as a matter of urgency, our frustrations and impatience will continue to grow.
Youth development remains hamstrung by policies that look appealing on paper but are unable to change lives. President Ramaphosa's Youth Employment Service (YES) was announced in March, yet, seven months later, little has been done to provide employment to the youth.
YES will soon prove to be yet another ANC programme that is out of touch with the needs of the youth.
However, the DA has, in contrast, engaged with the youth across the country to understand what interventions are required.
We have articulated our vision and are committed to building a future that is free of corruption, crime and easily enables access to quality education that will improve our chances in the job market.
A DA government promises to see our vision realised through laws and policies that can change lives such as:
Establishing a national civilian service programme which would provide young school-leavers with an opportunity to receive industrial training in the fields of their choice;
Providing free higher education for students who cannot afford it; and
Growing the economy to enable true access to jobs and other job opportunities such as the Expanded Public Works and the Vukuzakhe programmes which partner with school leavers and the private sector.
While thinking of the employment crisis among our youth, I was reminded of the slogan that says "a mind is a terrible thing to waste".
It is indeed terrible that millions of young and capable people are forced to stand on street corners, wasting valuable skills and potential that could guarantee prosperity for their families and the country.
The plight of our joblessness youth, as they face the indignity of standing on street corners looking for work, should be a priority to ANC policymakers.
Although they may either be too proud to admit the fact is that they have failed our youth with the provision of jobs.
The myopic view of those in government's upper echelons will ultimately push the youth to the limit causing the time bomb to detonate.
- Luyolo Mphithi, DA Youth Leader