While unemployment remained a crisis in the country of 50 million, President Ramaphosa on Monday commended the first Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) phase “for bringing 500,000 young people into the labour force in an unprecedented manner in a short space of time.”Addressing the nation in his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa said that some 84 percent of the participants in phase one of the PES were young people under the age of 35 — and two-thirds of them were women.
He announced that the PES would be extended into the second phase now, to continue bringing the youth into the job market.
“In phase two, we expect this number to be even higher, as the stimulus will provide almost $71.42 million in funding for the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention,” the president said.
“I have no doubt that the next phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus will bring us even closer to meeting our collective goal of decent work and opportunity for all,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “As part of the intervention, several young people will be recruited into a revitalised National Youth Service. They will receive training in digital skills, and youth-owned enterprises will receive support to expand and hire.”
The president said the employment stimulus has shown the importance of social partnership with government, business, labour and civil society coming together to bring those who are unemployed into the economy.
“The success of the Presidential Employment Stimulus has shown that when we work together, move with speed, think creatively and manage our resources well, we can make a huge impact,” Ramaphosa said.
“This is the implementation of our commitment that the State should actively support employment, while the labour market recovers,” the president said.