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Youth as creators of jobs: B-Bee commision hosts a youth month dialogue

The B-BBEE Commission will be hosting a Youth Month Dialogue on 29 June 2022, which will occur under the theme “Youth As Creators of Jobs”. The theme of the Dialogue follows the youth unemployment crisis, which the public and private sectors seek to resolve. The Dialogue will provide a platform for the Youth to engage on initiatives that cater for young people to become active participants in the future world of work and entrepreneurship.

Recent data on unemployment in South Africa indicates that despite the improvement in the economic activity and economic growth, unemployment remains high. In the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was at 63,9% for youth under the age group of 15-24 and 42,1% for the age group of 25-35 years, while the national unemployment rate is at 34,5%. The B-BBEE Act (53 of 2013) identifies Youth as part of the designated groups who should derive benefit from ownership, enterprise development, preferential procurement and skills development initiatives, amongst others, implemented by the private and public sectors.

The specific aspects that are important in the debate include, but not limited to education, skills development, mentoring, as well as enterprise and supplier development opportunities. The Dialogue will share case studies of businesses that are owned by young people who have gone through skills development programmes, received government support and provided opportunities for employment through their business initiatives. This is meant to inspire other young people who have ideas that need to be incubated and supported, for establishing businesses that provide employment.

One of the case studies is that of Siphelele Zekani who is the founder of 043 Food Processing, an enterprise that supplies food sauces to major chain stores and supermarkets in East London, Eastern Cape Province. This particular entity provides an example of how enterprise and supplier development can be made possible and sustainable over time. The other case study will feature Neo Malebo who is the co-founder of the Women’s Empowerment Rose Farming Project, a farming initiative that produces roses that are distributed country-wide, from an establishment that is based in Parys, Free State Province.

Other speakers are representatives from government entities which include the dtic, Innovation Hub and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. The Innovation Hub will share insights on the means to which youth can enter into sectors that are untapped. the dtic will provide information on the economic incentives available to youth, the Department of Economic Development on how government assistance has produced results in relation to the development of SMMEs.  

The Dialogue will occur virtually and members of the media are encouraged to register in order to capture information arising from the debates.

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