Proudly sponsored by

Ramaphosa: Unemployment in our country is a crisis

From the desk of the president.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: Bloomberg

The launch of the second phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus this past week represents great progress in our quest to create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of currently unemployed South Africans.

We established the employment stimulus last year to create as many opportunities as possible in the shortest possible time. This required new and innovative ways of working to implement programmes at an unprecedented speed and scale.

The recruitment process of the many people who were unemployed made use of digital platforms to reach as many eligible participants as possible. For example, small-scale farmers were able to apply for support via USSD and receive input vouchers to their cellphones.

Since the Department of Basic Education opened applications for the next cohort of school assistants just two weeks ago, over 940,000 young people have applied via the zero-rated recruitment platform called, which forms part of the national Pathway Management Network.

The use of new technologies in offering employment opportunities has made recruitment much easier, quicker and more transparent.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus has enabled and facilitated cooperation in the public sector. Programmes in phase one were implemented by 11 national departments. Their activities were aligned to avoid duplication and wastage and enhance learning from the experience of others.

Read: National Arts Council mismanaged R300m intended to support artists – report

The employment stimulus has also shown the importance of social partnership. Government, business, labour and civil society have come together to bring those who are unemployed into the economy.

More than half a million South Africans have already benefitted from the first phase, with several programmes still underway.

Participants were given the opportunity to earn a livelihood, to learn new skills and upgrade existing ones, and to use their experience as a springboard to get another job or to self-employment.

For example, a number of participants appointed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in its phase one programmes were able to secure private sector employment by the end of March 2021. Many of those in the first cohort of school assistants, similarly, have found their way into employment, armed with experience, training and references.

The programmes implemented through the Presidential Employment Stimulus have also benefited communities more broadly. The focus has been on job creation in sectors with direct social impact such as education, food security, public infrastructure maintenance and environmental protection.

Through this Presidential Employment Stimulus young people were employed to support and assist teachers in our schools. Others were employed to build bridges in rural communities. Many Early Childhood Development Centres were helped to survive and reopen. Subsistence farmers were supported to expand production, and environmental assets such as rivers and wetlands were restored and maintained.

As part of phase two, we are establishing a Social Employment Fund that will support work for the common good, led by community organisations in areas as diverse as urban agriculture, public art, informal settlement upgrading and community safety.

In the midst of the severe economic setback caused by the coronavirus pandemic, public and social employment has provided an important stimulus to job creation.

This is the implementation of our commitment that the state should actively support employment while the labour market recovers.

Through the Presidential Employment Stimulus we have brought young people into the labour force in far greater numbers in an unprecedented manner in a short space of time. Some 84% of the participants in phase one were young people under the age of 35, and two-thirds were women.

Read: Ramaphosa’s R500bn Covid-19 relief and stimulus response

In phase two we expect this number to be even higher, as the stimulus will provide almost R1 billion in funding for the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. As part of the intervention, several young people will be recruited into a revitalised National Youth Service.

Young people will receive training in digital skills and youth-owned enterprises will receive support to expand and hire.

Unemployment in our country is a crisis.

We cannot afford endless delays in addressing this problem because of bureaucratic red-tape, outdated recruitment processes, lack of capacity and planning, or programmes that are short-lived or unsustainable.

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.

This has demonstrated that we can create jobs if we work together as the public sector, labour, community and government.

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.



Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.


Cyril it’s all your rich friends and the companies that you sit on their boards, post crazy profits! Pay white males R150k a day! Fire general black worker at a rate we cant keep up. Go speak to your rich disconnect friends cause there’s nothing we can actually do about it. Also lockdown happened so if you could address the SME holocaust

Aaa yes must be the white males fault.

“Pay white males R150k a day! Fire general black worker at a rate we cant keep up….” The only disconnect here is you HitchesGhost. What racist twaddle! Do yourself a favour and go and research the black male v white male board representation on JSE listed companies and you might surprise (no, educate) yourself that black male representation on these boards is either equal to or by now exceeds white male representation. And this diatribe about “firing general black worker at a rate we cant keep up” is so incoherently off the wall that it doesn’t bear comment.

Yes, we know Mr President. Our crisis has a name: the ANC. You will not be remembered as liberation heroes, but as those who destroyed the future of two post-apartheid generations.

If there is 50% unemployment – it means the country has created 50% too many people.

Valid point. With 34% unemployment, it means SA bred 66% too many children.

Only a third employed. Our economy would’ve been 3X bigger (to accommodate all) under a well managed DA regime.

Under the present ANC…34% unemployed is still “good going” as the worst part is still to come.

Black leaders were warned in the 1960’s already where the population growth rate was going to lead to – mass unemployment.

Cyril talks to much but he is just like the previous incumbent – maybe not corrupt but still useless…

The words “Job Creation” are indicative of its failure from the outset. How many times have they played this record before and every time it seems around election time? Job creation is a function of “Wealth Creation” and not more jobs in the already bloated civil service.

As Mike Schüssler pointed out our manufacturing sector has shrunk to 1965 levels due to government policies that are counterproductive to stimulus in this sector. Our restrictive labour laws are burdensome to growth in the SMME sector of our economy, one of the most prolific job creators.

To solve the problem we need to get back to the basics, our education system, and look at what is being churned out there and just how employable is their product? How employable are you with a pass mark of 30%? Our Tertiary education institutions are clogged up with career students who never seem to pass anything but occupy places that should’ve been given to serious students with the right credentials based on merit. Is it any wonder that our economy is on a path to nowhere?

A closing thought, with a population growth that has outpaced the GDP for years now should we not look at curtailing that at the same time has we are trying to create new jobs?

You are of course correct and to add to your note.

career students who never seem to pass anything – except the dagga peacepipe.

Government don’t create jobs, they destroy them.

Well done Sherlock! Now get moving in solving the “Crime” whilst determining the actual cause of the unemployment and destruction of our economy. (Hint: Accused No 1 in the Zondo Commission).

The country has been in crisis since the african nationalists took over.

He is “shocked, blind-sided, appalled”. Just rhetoric like tribal chiefs talking about talking

Invest in other countries before it is too late!

Perhaps a good start would be to stop killing off businesses ?

There is something that you Mr. President and your party do not seem to grasp. The government cannot actively fix the unemployment issue, in fact it’s exactly the government’s continuing interference in economic and business affairs that has created this unemployment crisis.

As government you need to deregulate and in time the unemployment numbers will decrease as the economy grows. Ironically the best thing government can do is to stand back and do nothing, while the worst thing they can do is to regulate and interfere even further in the economy.

Dear Cyril …

We are tired, very, very tired of you and your party’s incoherent waffling in an attempt to bamboozle the voters into keeping the ANC cadre collective of F&F – Family & Friends looting the economy.

I recall your predecessor Mr Zuma, in 2011, promising 5 million jobs over 10 years. The only jobs your administration has “created” are the R100 a day Community Work Programs where the locals drift around cleaning up the roadside.

You and the ANC have hardly created a single constructive, economically productive job in the entire 27 years of your milking the country.

The only reason you are still where you are today is because you have stuffed the government bureaucracy with your incompetent, lazy and willing voters.

Please, for the sake of the country, just leave.

i heard a speech the other day by Rob Hersov a SA billionaire who said this country is uninvestable , and that BBEEE is theft.
this man has guts to state this in public.
he had been living overseas for many years but is back home and by the sound of it will be gone soon because he is totally disgusted with what is happening in this MAFIA STATE.
Ramaphosa can talk all he likes but nobody is going to risk investing in this dump.
The only nice thing in this country is nature , not the majority of the population.
I fully agree to such an extent that come 1 November i am not going to vote for the first time in my adult life.
The Anc is a huge problem but the biggest problem is the retard majority that keeps voting them in . SA IS KAPUT

My interaction with people on ground level is overwhelmingly positive. Yes, there’s a huge apartheid-hangover, blind support for the corrupt liberators and a population growth problem. But most people are still good. Get out of your pessimism bubble, help some people, and vote dammit! You can and should make a difference.

more people employed in formal manufacturing in 1969 than in 2021, uhr uhr u keep fooling yourself

“Unemployment in our country is a crisis.” Nah. Really? Where have you been for the past 20 years or so Mr R? Clearly only able to recite the usual garbage rhetoric. If you and your crony party would at least admit to your incompetence and save face by trying to emulate a couple of economically successful countries. Unable to recognise any of those either it seems.

A crisis is the best tool of mass distraction in the political box of tricks.

How interesting that the dear beloved president of this country only realises now that unemployment is a big issue; coincidentally it’s also election time! What a disgrace this government is!

Technology impact too … iron age skills not so valuable anymore

Employment stimulus. Whahahahahaaaaa!!!!

He comes up with all these BS terms to sound smart.

Hey Cyril!!! What happened to your “Envoys”??? HE??

Yaa. The ones that would get you $100 Billion investment>

Dont talk about this anymore cause he made a big fool of himself. Got $3.9 billion last year. Hey !!! Cyril!! Are you paying those “Envoy’s”??? HE??


In Afrikaans this guy’s “endeavors” are called. SOTTERNY.

In 2020, the African continent had around 1.34 billion inhabitants. Africa’s total population is expected to reach nearly 2.5 billion by 2050. There is very little investment in infrastructure. The continent needs to address birth control as its number 1 priority and education as its number 2.

Government should NOT be the Employer in Chief, Mr. President. It should create an environment where the PRIVATE Sector flourish and employment will follow.

High School Economy basic level.

But you knew that Mr. President, it’s a pity your voters don’t.

Close auswitch now, err close ccma,.meibc…

Those that can think and see the problem are not his worry. As long as he can BS the 30 million voting fodder he is in business. As they all do, election time in SA has no limits. These are not empty promises that they make, they are outright lies.

What a wishy washy letter.

1) No specifics on the program other than giving it a catchy name
2) no actual numbers of jobs “created” (other than vaguely alluding to “several”)
3) no details of what jobs were “created”,
4) No indication of whether these “created” jobs are permanent or casual in nature
5) Only percentages given – remember if you had 1 and now have 2, that’s an astounding 100% increase.

End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: