“A SHAME ON our country’s conscience” this is how sadly Pres Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa described the status of youth unemployment in the country.
Statistics South Africa reported that the unemployment rate among people aged 15 to 24 was 55.2% for the first quarter of 2019. It said this group was “the most vulnerable in the South African labour market”.
During SONA, last night Ramaphosa promised that employing two million more young people over 10 years, will be a significant achievement, but it may not be enough.
Perhaps that could be achieved should the private sector such as Redefine Properties be supported in its drive to create sustainable jobs in SA.
Recently, the company managed to create 15 permanent jobs and gave entrepreneurs surrounding the area of Maponya Mall, (Soweto) access to valuable space worth over R1 million to showcase services and products at no cost, as part of its Asset Based Community Development Approach (ABCD) to communities as partners possessing the agency and skills to develop and support solutions that will deliver sustainable transformation.
This community engagement programme is a partnership between Redefine Properties and FNB Philanthropy.
In its initial phase, the process involved an extensive engagement with over 1 000 community members, youth community-based organisations, local NGOs, political representatives and local businesses and entrepreneurs.
Yes, creation of jobs for 2 million youths in 10 years’ might be a ‘dream’ but this is could steer the ship in the right direction, provided more investors believe in the South African dream, just like Redefine Properties.
Marijke Coetzee, Head of Marketing and Communications, Redefine Properties says, “In finding ways to be meaningfully involved, we quickly realised that the communities surrounding our properties have a better understanding of their needs and combined with new and creative thinking can guide and inform the best way forward.
We recognised that we could deliver a far greater impact by investing with the communities rather than trying to invest for them.”
“We wanted then to create a platform for people and communities to come together to achieve positive change using their own knowledge and lived experiences of the issues they encounter in their daily lives.”
Redefine will work with the youths, SMMEs and the NGOs active in the vicinity of the Maponya Mall.
Meanwhile, as the celebrations for Youth Month (June) continue, NYDA executive chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni, said youth unemployment is a ‘national crisis’.