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Why SA needs to kick-start the economy through youth entrepreneurship

22 September 2021 8:45 PM
Tags:
Unemployment
The Money Show
Job creation
Orange Farm
Bruce Whitfield
Youth unemployment
Bidvest
Bonang Mohale
economic recovery
EmpowaYouth Transformation Week
EmpowaYouth Week

'Youth unemployment figures are a ticking time bomb.' Arabile Gumede interviews Bonang Mohale, Chairperson of Bidvest.

South Africa is now holding world records for all the wrong things says Bidvest Chairperson and former CEO of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), Bonang Mohale.

One of the most disturbing realities is the sky-high youth unemployment rate.

RELATED: Action needed to shift 'massive number' of SA youth facing lifetime unemployment

The unemployment figures for young people is a ticking time bomb at 74.9%, which means 10 million young people are not in education, employment or training.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

So, when you have young people - women and men - who are not gainfully employed, not only are you asking for trouble, you are actively inviting it.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

Mohale points to squandered opportunities that could have changed the future for the country's young people.

We inherited an infrastructure that, relatively, worked. All we had to do was just maintain it - planned and preventative maintenance.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

In the mining industry we had almost a million jobs; today it's 400,000 jobs. We used to be the number one gold-producing country in the world; now we're not even in the top five. When the first super-commodities cycle came (driven mostly by demand for coal by China) we couldn't even meet that demand because our supply chain was broken.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

Look where the growth is coming from - financial services, not in mining, agriculture, manufacturing... not where the young people are employed in large numbers.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

The first step quips Mohale, is to be like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and accept that we have a problem.

Then, he suggests, all the social partners need to agree on ten things to be done with a focus on three of these.

For the last ten years your and my discretionary purchasing power and therefore disposable income has actually been eroding. But the really worrying thing is that it is jobless growth.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

To address the plight of disenfranchised young people, Mohale is playing a part in the EmpowaYouth Transformation Week taking place in Orange Farm outside Johannesburg from 3-9 October.

The informal settlement is a microcosm of the broader South Africa he says.

We are taking it where it is needed the most, in Orange Farm... youth unemployment is reflective of the entire population... It is dependent on its people waking up every morning and going to look for work somewhere else...

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

The aim, say the organisers, is to drive socio economic purpose and growth within marginalised and largely despondent communities by giving guidance and access to market opportunities.

The themes include Business and Entrepreneurship; and Jobs, Training and Skills Development.

We want to offer practical and sustainable outcomes that are transformative.

Bonang Mohale, Chairperson - Bidvest

Listen to Mohale's passionate argument below:




22 September 2021 8:45 PM
Tags:
Unemployment
The Money Show
Job creation
Orange Farm
Bruce Whitfield
Youth unemployment
Bidvest
Bonang Mohale
economic recovery
EmpowaYouth Transformation Week
EmpowaYouth Week