[LISTEN] YES plans to assist the six million unemployed youth

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Youth Employment Service (YES) in Midrand on Tuesday which promises to change the lives of young South Africans.

The programme aims to create some 1 million job internships over a three-year period targeting mainly black South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35.

The CEO of the Youth Employment Service (YES) says the unemployment rate is currently over 50%.

We are four times the sub-Saharan average in terms of unemployment. With levels that high, 5.9 million people, most of whom are youth, this is a very very serious situation and it requires a national intervention.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO at Youth Employment Service (YES)

Ismail-Saville says there are big companies that have committed to take the lead in showing our companies that the country needs to invest in the youth.

READ: Labour analyst: Ramaphosa's 1 million jobs for youth an election gimmick

We are saying it is not just JSE listed companies or large companies, if we are going to address the national unemployment number of 6 million; we have to say that number because we tend to get quite glib about the big numbers rolling of our tongue.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO at Youth Employment Service (YES)

Just to put that number in context, we have about 580 000 youth going to matric each year. Now imagine; count that number for a decade; not one of the students of the 580 000 get a job, now you start to see the proportion of that number.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO at Youth Employment Service (YES)

Meanwhile, Bevan, a caller says they have set up a community hub in Katlehong which acts as a buy-in centre from the community. He says they also distribute products to the elderly and creches. Bevan says the key is the build small businesses up.

Unfortunately, I think most business sees township as an extractive nature. The money comes up from the township to the big corporates but it's got to stay in the township and its really got to be used to develop the communities.

Bevan, caller

Listen to why companies must partake in this initiative


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