Youth Month | South African Youth are On the Crossroads

The month of June in South Africa is recognised as a youth month, whereby issues that affect the young people get highlighted but with no action. To be honest, nothing happens, it’s just talk and blah blah until June comes to an end, sadly.

In his recent speech to the youth, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the challenge of youth unemployment could seem insurmountable.

“However, we know what we need to do to address it. We know that by providing young people with opportunities for work experience, by supporting to start and grow their own businesses, we want to support them.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa

In the president’s State of the Nation Address earlier this year, he reported that the Department of Small Business Development and the National Youth Development Agency had achieved their target of supporting 1,000 youth-owned enterprises in 100 days, particularly in the township and rural economies. which is not true, none of that in not happening in the townships and rural areas. 


However, the South African youth are faced with several challenges such as unemployment and expensive education, where the majority of students don’t have funds to pay their fees. Truth to be told, the challenges the youth are faced with are the results of poor policies and planning by government officials. As we speak 64% of young people in South Africa are unemployed.

Few facts about June 16, 1976 - Review

The South African government keeps telling the youth that there’s no money to help them, while on the other hands’ government officials keep paying themselves huge salaries and enriching themselves.

The South African young lions/youth find themselves at crossroads, some have graduated with college and university degrees and diplomas but there are no jobs opportunities for them. It is a total mess because politicians are the ones who are benefiting from government tenders while some are rewarding their friends with tenders. 


Yes, is not the responsibility of the government to create jobs but is their damn responsibility to create a healthy and favourable environment for the youth in this case, to create jobs for themselves and their peers. The government must also cut the red tape system that makes it difficult to register a business. 

June 16 Soweto Youth Uprising timeline: 1976-1986 | South African History  Online

The South African youth must also take responsibility for their future and do whatever it takes to be successful. There’s plenty of advantages the youth have at their disposal. Some of those advantages are the internet and technology. As part of the solution, the youth can invent digital products using tech, AI and the internet and take those goods and services to the market and make a profit. 

We all know that with tech a lot can be done for the benefit of the masses. Today we have the biggest taxi company in the world and they don’t even own a single taxi, that’s Uber. Another example, we also have the biggest hotel company in the world Air BnB and they don’t own a single hotel only the App that connects people. These are some of the examples that the youth can draw inspiration to use technology, the internet and artificial intelligence to create their opportunities and better future. 

By Rethabile Mohlala 

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