Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Mthatha, Eastern Cape- Christmas came early for the Gafeni and Njemlla families in Ward 14 under the OR Tambo District Municipality as 60 youth embarked on the Thuma Mina outreach programme. As part of raising the social conscious and promoting the active participation of young people in community development activities, they distributed food parcels and painted the Gafeni family house.

The Thuma Mina outreach programme is part of the Department of Social Development’s youth camp programme currently underway at 14 South African Infantry Battalion in Mthatha, under the theme “Be the legacy: a generation of youth that will end Gender-Based Violence”. The programme is implemented in annually partnership with the South African National Defence Force.

About 260 out-of-school and unemployed young people between of 18-35 years from all regions and communities of the Province of the Eastern Cape are participating in the programme. Amongst others, the youth are empowered to be agents of their own development in areas such as sexual and reproductive health rights, nation building, youth cooperatives and entrepreneurship, education and career opportunities.

The concept of youth camp programme is being implemented in direct response to the National Youth Policy (2015-2020), which seeks to consolidate youth initiatives that enhance the capabilities of young people to transform the economy and society. The Policy emphasises the need for various youth development efforts and interventions that holistically respond to all aspects or spheres of young people's lives.

The socio-economic challenges that confront young people is testimony to the fact that there is a great deal of work still to be done in respect of youth development in South Africa. The recent Statistics South Africa’s quarterly labour market survey data shows that unemployment rate among young people aged 15–34 was 38, 2%, implying that more than one in every three young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018.

Of the 10, 3 million persons aged 15–24 years, 32, 4% (approximately 3, 3 million) were not in employment, education or training – implying that close to one in three young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 years were disengaged with the labour market in the first quarter of 2018.

The burden of unemployment is also concentrated amongst the youth as they account for 63, 5% of the total number of unemployed persons. The unemployment rate among the youth is higher irrespective of education level.

The graduate unemployment rate was 33, 5% for those aged 15–24 and 10, 2% among those aged 25–34 years, while the rate among adults (aged 35–64 years) was 4, 7%. Just over 30% of the youth have jobs and about half of them participate in the labour market. Within the youth, those aged 15–24 years are more vulnerable in the labour market with an unemployment rate of over 52%, an absorption rate of about 12,2% and a labour force participation rate of 25,6%.

The provincial youth camp programme is scheduled to run from 11-17 November 2018 at 14 South African Infantry Battalion, Mthatha-Province of the Eastern Cape.


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