President of Business Unity South Africa, Sipho Pityana, speaking at the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator’s 6th Solutions Exchange for Youth Employment conference in Johannesburg, said yesterday that business believed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration understood the challenges.
Bottlenecks such as simplifying the visa regime, water use licensing issues, export taxes, releasing broadband spectrum and youth unemployment, were major concerns for business, he said. Business confidence has waned and is at a 20-year low as more business people are growing more pessimistic about the future as the economy stagnates.
At the same time, youth unemployment is at its highest. The unemployment rate among the 15- to 24-age group was 55.2percent in the first quarter of 2019.
Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, addressing concerns, said that the government was implementing a comprehensive plan which sought to address five key challenges over the next five years, in partnership with the private sector, to unlock the energy and potential of young people. He said that these included abolishing work experience as a requirement for entry-level posts in the public service and an expanded National Youth Service.