Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has challenged the private sector to roll out internships to help curb youth unemployment.
Speaking at the Limpopo Economic Summit at The Ranch Resort near Polokwane this morning, Ramaphosa said helping young people earn work experience would help the country address the burning issue of youth unemployment.
In its Quarterly Labour Force 2016, Statistics South Africa revealed that the country’s unemployment rate stood at 26.7% and that the majority of the unemployed are youth.
Ramaphosa told the summit, held under the theme An Industrialisation Path Towards Creating Sustainable Jobs and Reducing Poverty for Limpopo province, that the tide can be reversed if the private sector worked with government.
“What many young people lack today is experience in the world of work. All they need is to be given a chance,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa also called on government to step up efforts to eradicate corruption, poor governance, cronyism and nepotism which empower only a few and not the nation at large.
“We want to see government officials acting in a non-corrupt manner to achieve good governance. Corruption must be brought to an end in our country and Limpopo should take the lead,” said Ramaphosa.
He told delegates that investors are attracted by sound planning, stability and astute leadership.
Ramaphosa said Cabinet had earlier this week endorsed a framework for the participation of the private sector in infrastructure delivery.
“To grow our economy and develop our people, we need new roads, rail lines, broadband networks, port facilities, dams, power stations, colleges and clinics. We need them on a significant scale and we need them without delay,” he said.
Ramaphosa said Limpopo should learn from the phenomenal growth of Singapore which rose from a small underdeveloped country at independence in 1965 to a global economic powerhouse.
He said the Asian country achieved this despite not having mineral wealth on the same level as Limpopo. Ramaphosa said they achieved this through hard work and clean governance.
He said with its vast mineral deposits and agricultural potential, Limpopo can be revived as the bread basket of Africa.