South Africa: Government should be fixated on youth employment – Pityana

Unisa’s former head says learners should be paid to stay in school.

The preoccupation of government “day and night” should be on the 55% of young people under 30 who are unemployed, with many of them never having been employed, says Barney Pityana, the retired principal and vice chancellor of the University of South Africa.

“If [as government] I get nothing else right, this is what I must get right yesterday,” he told the Tshwane Leadership Summit on Wednesday.

Pityana was critical of the lack of imagination in government and questioned why there was not a major government initiative right now to address “this ticking time bomb”.

He added that if he was in government, he would be making a big announcement that addressing youth unemployment was the priority.

Pityana said this would involve raising dedicated capital from all businesses for this initiative, with “some of it voluntary but if it doesn’t come, by other means”.

Pass a law if necessary

He said this capital would be used to ensure, even if a law had to be passed, that every young person who was not at school, university or working, would be in a training programme for 12 months where they would get supported and receive incentives.

Money would also be made available for all kinds of training centres countrywide and when they finished their training in 12 months’ time, there would be a fund to enable them to have start-up businesses, he said.

“All over the country there will be young people well engaged in training and learning and whatever is happening so they don’t just stay on the streets or are lying about,” he said.

‘Pay learners to stay in school’

Pityana said he would also do what former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher did in paying young people of 18 and 19 years old to stay in school for another two years to get further training.

“The point I really want to make is that if you have leadership with imagination, you wouldn’t just be stuck in the old way of doing things and simply say that this is the way the economic forces are actually working and therefore there is no other way.

“That is not good enough for a country in an environment like ours. Young people in our country are entitled to expect better of us,” he said.

He pointed out that there is no other country that had an unemployment rate of 25% and retained the same government.

He said this was part of the dilemma in South Africa, which did not make sense at all, where the government does not deliver for the people at the level where it matters and yet these people still vote for the same government.

Tragic ethical gap

Turning to corruption, Pityana said there was a “tragic gap” in South Africa in that there was nobody at a high level who did not hate corruption but what they did and the way they acted was at a very different level.

“Even those who are right in the thick of it, they will tell you – and will probably mean it – that they hate corruption. It’s like seeing Ace Magashule [ANC secretary-general] saying that we the ANC have been working so hard against corruption and we say: ‘Ha! Who is talking?’”

The reference to Magashule is related to various allegations of corruption that have been levelled against him.

Pityana stressed that people have to be able to be critical of themselves and capable of having a critical insight of human conduct, including their own.

“If you don’t have a critical sense and the courage to respond to your own critical intuition and insight, you will never be able to see anything that is wrong,” he said.

Pityana referred to the extent to which good men and women for some reason had been able to capitulate to what was obviously a crooked programme.

He said those who know Brian Molefe – one-time CEO of the Public Investment Corporation, Transnet and Eskom – would never have expected a few years ago that he would be an agent for a corrupt project.

Molefe has been linked to corruption involving the Gupta family.

Pityana said Zuma boasted that he never went to school but his power over educated people would “put all of us to shame”.

“He has been able to manipulate very educated and knowledgeable people way beyond his own intelligence and education.

“What kind of country is that? How can we have a country where at the end of the day educated people cannot act like intelligent people?

“That is something that needs further examination,” he added, “because I’m no longer able to confidently say that educated people, on account of their education and knowledge, are able to distinguish and to discern right from wrong, and to know the consequences of what they are doing our country.”

Source Money Web

20 years skilling South African youth

2019 marked the twentieth anniversary of the Go for Gold Education-to-Employment programme. For the past 20 years, Go for Gold has boasted the efficacy of public-private partnerships, combining expertise and passion for tangible transformation in South Africa.

The programme culminated in 1999 when founder Shaun Webber, then CEO of NMC Construction noticed the shortage of black technical graduates entering the industry. He identified that students were already disadvantaged at school level, particularly in the poor Maths and Science Bachelor Pass rates and had no post-schooling provisions to support students’ career aspirations to enter the built environment. Originating in the Western Cape, in 2015 the programme expanded to Gauteng and Eastern Cape.

The 4-phased programme was created to act as a skills development pipeline, advancing black students’ performance in Maths and Science at some of South Africa’s poorest schools as identified by one of Go for Gold’s partners, the Department of Education. Qualifying students must express a strong interest in pursuing technical vocations, have adequate Maths and Science marks and be dedicated to joining the industry.

Once enrolled in Phase 1, students receive two years of intensive Maths and Science tuition in Grades 11 and 12, Leadership Development (Life Skills) training and enjoy numerous site visits and presentations by technical professionals from 24 Go for Gold partner companies. Once matriculated, the programme and partner companies sustain post-schooling opportunities for the students through paid internships (Phase 2) that help these young adults determine their course of study, based on practical exposure to the industry prior to entering tertiary institutions (Phase 3), therefore suitably utilizing bursaries at tertiary institutions. Once graduated, partner companies enjoy retaining their investment by employing the students they have supported since Grade 11. Each phase of the programme benefits industry partners whom each year aim to meet their transformational and human capital needs for technical professionals.

Go for Gold, a registered NPO and a structured programme under the Construction and DTI Codes, has received international recognition and numerous awards over the last 20 years. However, the success of the programme would not be possible without the progressive built environment companies who have proven they are passionate about transformation and have partnered with the programme. These include, but not limited to, Martin & East, Stefanutti Stocks, Haw & Inglis, Concor, Civils 2000, PERI Formworks, Sutherland Engineers, dhk Architects, Power Group, Aveng-GrinakerLTA, CSV Construction, Mokwena Surfacing, Triamic Construction, Danoher, Axsys Projects, Amandla Construction, W Unser Construction, Esor Construction, Smart Civils, iKusasa Rail, R&N Master Builders, Kew Maintenance, Grindrod Rail and Burger and Wallace. Education partners include the Department of Education, Star Schools Programme, Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology, Routes to Resilience and all tertiary institutions in the Western Cape and Gauteng regions. The Go for Gold board carries representation by heads of industry from the built environment, alumni and the Department of Education who ensure the organization stays aligned with industry needs and norms.

At a time where South Africa’s youth unemployment problem is still a contentious issue and our President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the private sector to support youth development, the Go for Gold Education-to-Employment programme is South Africa’s best kept secret. While continuing to provide tangible solutions to numerous Sustainable Development Goals, the future of Go for Gold will entail growing and diversifying the number of partner companies to support hundreds more deserving youth. Go for Gold plans to welcome other industries that require technical professionals, including the manufacturing sector and companies asserting careers in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Source Engineering News

11-year-old chess champion to represent South Africa

Shortly after receiving her South African colours for chess, Amahle Zenzile from Crossroads, Cape Town has been invited to represent South Africa at the African Youth Chess Tournament to be held in Namibia.

Who is Amahle Zenzile?

Amahle Zenzile, who lives with her grandmother, started playing chess for the Crossroads Chess Club two years ago. Before long, she was one of the best players in her age group and maintained an impressive rating of 1284.

Thando Hlakula, who coaches Amahle at no charge and has guided her every step of the way, says her determination and her aptitude for chess are unmatched.

“Amahle has gone on to win a number of gold and silver medals. She has been named ‘best player’ numerous times. She is currently ranked second best player in the Western Cape, and for her age category, she is currently ranked fifth in South Africa,” says Thando.


Amahle’s consistent hard work paid off in March this year at the SAJCC Closed, where she played against the top 30 under-12 girls from across South Africa.

With a crowdfunding campaign launched on BackaBuddy by her best friend and fellow competitor, 12-year-old Trinity Van Beeck, Amahle was able to afford the trip to Johannesburg to compete in the event.

With quiet confidence, she went on to receive her South African colours and finish fifth in her age group.

Since then, Amahle has gone on to win the Western Cape Schools Chess under-11 girls’ division, and the South African Schools Chess under-13 girls tournaments. She has also been invited to represent South Africa at The African Youth Chess Tournament in December.

“The progress she has made in a very short space of time is quite remarkable. There is no diction to convey how proud and happy I am for her and looking forward to the African Youth in Namibia,” says Thando.

BackaBuddy campaign

To cover the costs of the trip, registration and accommodation, Trinity has set up a crowdfunding campaign to appeal to South Africans to support Amahle’s chess dreams.

“My beautiful friend has a warrior spirit, and I am so proud to be her friend. She is a shining beacon of hope to other children in her community. I am inspired by her every single day, and I would love to help her on the next part of her journey. She is so deserving of this opportunity,” says Trinity.

To make a donation to Amahle’s campaign on BackaBuddy, visit

Written by Caryn Edwards The South African reporter


South Africa: Liverpool manager Klopp donate R190,000 to South African youth club

The Reds manager visited the Cape Town based club in 2017 and has not forgotten to help them with their football development this season too.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp contributed to the Joy is Round initiative, run by Hout Bay United Football Community in South Africa.
The Cape Town club only has children aged between seven and 18-years and aims to instill hope in the community.

Co-founder of Hout Bay United, Jeremy Elson shared the following glowing words for the German coach.

“Jurgen is a fantastic chap to have associated with the club,” Elson said, as reported in the Liverpool Echo.

“He came and did a talk in 2017, where he spoke about his time as a manager, his philosophy, football, his ambitions.

“He spoke for over two hours in total, everyone was captivated by him.

“The most amazing thing about him is how humble he is.”

One can follow the start of the social media reaction from South Africa to Klopp’s donation, and also watch the Liverpool manager talk about the initiative in a video below.

Written by Zain Khan Goal reporter

Source Goal

South Africa’s Growth Depends On Its Youth


According to the World Economic Forum, Africa will be home to a billion youth by 2050. South Africa alone has a youth population of 20.6 million, making up 35.7 percent of the country’s total population of about 57.7 people.

But even though a youthful population presents a significant opportunity in promoting the growth and advancement of any economy, factors such as disparity in educational quality and poverty, among others pose a huge risk in Africa.

In South Africa, unemployment has left thousands of youth feeling hopeless. This has largely been attributed to a slow-growing economy, which is struggling to create opportunities for those looking to break into the labour market.

According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate among this age group was 55.2 percent in the 1st quarter of 2019. Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31.0 percent during this period compared to 19.5 percent in the 4th quarter of 2018 – an increase of 11,4 percent.

In order to address this, the South African government is adopting more strategies to secure a brighter future for its youth. During the 2019 World Economic Forum in January, South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that the country would be investing in more programmes to equip youth in schools and colleges with digital skills that will boost their future employment prospects, thereby growing the economy. At the recent State of the Nation Address, the president announced that he has secured R840bn in funding towards job creation. While this is a welcome relief particularly for South Africa’s youth, the emphasis should be on closing the skills gap considering that the world of work is changing due to continuous technological advancements.

For instance, according to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Survey , 78 percent of executives in South Africa predict significant disruption in the next three years. With the threat of new competition, technology transformation and rising customer expectations as top drivers of industry disruption, it’s no wonder that a majority of executives believe more than 20% of current jobs will cease to exist by 2022. edX’s 2018 survey findings reveal that employees will require a hybrid set of skills in technical, future-ready leadership and essential power in the new digital economy.

However, there are significant human capital risks – from the inability to close the skills gap to low engagement – that can slow the progress of digital transformation. With many graduates leaving school without the desired skillsets that could make them employable by companies at home or abroad, it creates uncertainty. While initiatives such as the Youth Employment Service (a collaboration between government, business and labour) offer a great opportunity for paid quality work experience for a million unemployed youth, skills gap remains a critical risk for companies to adapt in the new digital economy. As such, more organisations should rethink their strategies in preparing for the workforce of the future in order to accelerate their growth plans.

Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2019 survey highlights the importance of skill diversity and overall change in the way that work is delivered. In leveraging against the backdrop of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in securing economic opportunities and growth, human skills, such as complex problem solving, inclusive leadership, social collaboration, remain essential to digital transformation.

African youth are among the most talented people in the world. Quick to learn and highly motivated, they also have the ability to work under pressure, while developing vibrant ideas that could be massively transformative when given guidance. Once they are able to receive adequate training to help them seize those opportunities, everything changes. Avenues to employment such as entrepreneurship open up, and attitudes towards work change. Economic growth improves and everyone in the society benefits.

With this in mind, organisations should look at where to find future talent, how to access and build critical capabilities in order to capitalize on the booming youth population in South Africa and the rest of Africa. As this generation desires flexibility and mobility – they’re not looking for a long rewarding career with one firm, but rather a series of rewarding opportunities that offer personal and professional satisfaction. With a deeper understanding of their particular needs, wants and motivations, as well as the advice they value, organisations can design a talent value proposition that appeals to our youth.

With hybrid skillsets gaining strength in 2019, South Africa requires greater collaboration between government, business and labour in keeping up with the rapidly changing skill demand of jobs today. In a world of disruption, South Africa, and the rest of Africa, can capitalize on unpredictable market trends by unlocking the potential opportunities presented by a booming youth population. Investing in Africa’s youth will ensure that we solve some of today’s challenges to create rewarding and more secure futures for our continent.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Mercer.

Opinion: Fasihah Hasan: Angry youth will save SA

By (Simnikiwe Hlashaneni)

Millenials have a more urgent and immediate purpose to change what is wrong in South Africa.

‌Young radicalism is the future of democratic social justice, if the new wave of young political activists becoming lawmakers is anything to go by.

And for “born-free” politician Fasihah Hassan, who was acclaimed for her role during the nationwide youth revolt for free tertiary education, an angry and impatient youth is the best thing for South Africa’s democracy.

Born to United Democratic Front (UDF) activist parents at the dawn of democracy in 1994, Hassan says she and her peers have a different and necessary perspective on the ills that face the country. It’s the more urgent and immediate sense of purpose that drove the #FeesMustFall movement.

“The world is not a fair place and it’s our job to make it more fair. But once you understand that the world is unfair you understand that all that anger you have is important, but it needs to be channelled,” she says.

‌Speaking just days before her inauguration as an ANC member of the Gauteng legislature, Hassan says making the transition from student activist to politician, to policy maker has not been an easy road to travel.

“It has been a long and difficult journey which people don’t see. People see the front of the house. They don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes back in the kitchen, so to speak. But I seriously believe the kind of student activism we were doing before and during #FeesMustFall has played a huge role in shaping how I think and deal with the issues.”

As an ANC Youth League branch leader herself, Hassan is not afraid to criticise the organisation that moulded her, saying it was necessary for change in the ANC to be driven from within.

“The difficulty with the older generation is that they see the issues, but they would rather only bring it up internally. Whereas with us, as much as we have a sense of belonging in the ANC, it doesn’t prevent me from criticising where I have seen wrong.”

And with the layers and layers of internal structures, age groups and the gender factor, a young woman might not have risen so quickly into leadership in the ANC 10 years ago, but the ANC elders are beginning to hear young people, Hassan says. She admits that some of the youth disillusionment at the ANC evidenced in the last two elections could be attributed to the weakening of the ANCYL over the past decade.

However, she says channels for young people to be heard within the mother body have improved and have put young women in more meaningful platforms, such as the Young Women’s Desk.

South Africa: National Youth Development Agency Applauds President Cyril Ramaphosa On Appointment of Cabinet



National Youth Development Agency applauds President Ramaphosa on appointment of Cabinet

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) applauds His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa on the appointment of cabinet for the 6th administration.

The agency expresses confidence in the men and women appointed at various portfolios. Importantly, we welcome the appointment of the NYDA Executive Deputy Chairperson, Ms Bavelile Hlongwa as the Deputy Minister of Minerals and Energy. Her appointment is a vote of confidence on the NYDA and the work done by the 3rd Board of Directors.

Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni has applauded President Ramaphosa and said that “The appointment of younger Ministers and Deputy Ministers is a sign of a responsive government to the call made by the agency to have youth at the helm of decision-making structures”.

“To us the Ministry of Employment and Labour will give necessary impetus to the fight against high rates of unemployment, in particular when it comes to the youth, unemployed graduates and in general. We are hopeful that the Ministry will take to task both the public and private sectors on job creation, retention and the employment of a youthful workforce”.

“We welcome and support the President’s inclusion and vivid expression of youth as part of the Ministry of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities. It is our view that this will enable better management of youth development affairs across society” added Mtsweni

Issued by: National Youth Development Agency

#AfricaDay: Africa Home to Vast Opportunities for South American Youth


We continue to see the role of media and communication as central to what we all are striving for in the continent.

We owe it to ourselves to make the continent a success story. The more we trust each other with direct investments the more we are likely to grow and attract foreign direct investments to our continent.

There is something poetic in the fact that South Africa’s Presidential inauguration falls on 25 May, which is also Africa Day. On this day in 1963 all independent African states set aside their differences to form an organisation now known as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

South Africa was one of the last nations to join this organisation which then became the venue for the birth of the African Union in 2002.

In the midst of organising the Presidential inauguration, Government Communication and Information System hosted an African Press Attachés Round Table on 22 May 2019 at Tshedimosetso House, the seat of government communication.

This gathering was in line with the resolutions of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Communication and ICT which, amongst others, seeks to promote the work and achievements of integration and inter continental trading as Africans.

This engagement brought together Africa’s Press Attachés and editors from across the African continent based in South Africa, as well as press officers under the AU banner.

As we reflected on the continents priorities, we noted how far we have come.

The dramatic rise of African members states as a significant trading block to our country, overtaking Europe in 2013 and on par with Asia since 2014, is a clear indication that South Africa’s prosperous future is intertwined with the continent’s future.

The economic adviser to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ms Trudi Makhaya illustrated how InvestSA is actively collaborating with Investment Promotion Agencies on the continent and have signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Kenyan Investment Authority, the Uganda Investment Authority and GAFI in Egypt.

The intention is to foster closer collaboration between these agencies in attracting Foreign Direct Investments to the continent.

Our commitments to the vision of Pan Africanists including, Nkhrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sekou Toure of Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, find voice in the growing partnerships between fellow nations on the continent. The implementation of this vision is well illustrated by a series of developments across Africa.

Ms Makhaya informed us that intra-Africa Investments have been growing at a compound rate of 32.5%. This is impressive! Africa’s rising population market of 1.2 Billion people is compelling, our story of an integrated Africa with a gross domestic product of more than US$ 3.4 trillion is remarkable.

We as African communicators ought to tell the stories, and inform our youth of the vast opportunities that are available across Africa.

Knowledge is power and this was reflected in the presentation of Mr Thulani Mavuso, the Acting Director-General of Home Affairs, on innovations which promote and ensure that Africans have free movement to trade, to study and to live in South Africa. The web based e-Home Affairs system is truly easy, efficient and secure. These interventions have now improved the facilitation of people, movement and goods, making it easier for African Tourists, business and academia to come to South Africa.

During the interaction discussions focussed on the important role that communicators, in partnership with the media can play to shape perceptions of our continent. In today’s world, perception has a price.

What is perceived to be real often takes on a life of its own and if we do not promote our continent, its virtues and opportunities we risk opening the door and allowing misperceptions to take hold.

As we commemorate Africa Day with President, Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa we should take pride in our achievements as a continent whilst bearing in mind that more needs to be done to realise the full vision of the founding fathers of the AU.

Since its formation, the African Union has strived to build a better, more united and prosperous continent.

The organisation has shifted its focus to ensure economic emancipation and socio-economic development in Africa. It currently leads the promotion of regional and market integration that will see the lowering of transport costs, enable the free movement of goods, services and people, and encourage the optimisation of resources.

We dare not rest until all who call Africa home are empowered to build a better tomorrow, free from injustice, inequality and unemployment.

South Africa: Teens to fly Cape to Cairo in a plane they assembled


An epic adventure in the form of an aviation challenge promoting and supporting innovation, technology and entrepreneurship will see 20 teenagers embark on a Cape-to-Cairo-and-back excursion in a self-assembled Sling-4 aircraft.

The aircraft uses ordinary motor fuel and was built in just three weeks.

The excursion, earmarked to start next month, will see different teams of the 20 teenagers pilot and charter a course that will cut across several African cities and towns, spreading the key messages of an African narrative that started as a dream.

Teen pilot, author and motivational speaker Megan Werner, sparked by her passion to inspire, founded U Dream Global Foundation to uplift, empower, equip and transform the lives of thousands of youth throughout Africa and the world by “dreaming and achieving the impossible as well as succeeding beyond expectations”.

“The challenge has enabled us to take a lot of teenagers from different backgrounds and to teach and equip them with life skills that they can take with them into the future.

“Throughout Africa, we are hoping to do similar initiatives affecting thousands of youths who are the future of the continent,” said Megan.

Megan and various teen co-pilots are now set to chart a course across Africa to visit towns and cities in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt, and a return trip that will include Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Pupils assemble the Sling-4 aircraft, which they plan to fly from Cape Town to Cairo and back on an epic journey next month.

Voluntary support for logistical aspects of the flight is being provided by CFS, ExecuJet, Worldfuel and Mike Blyth, the founder of The Airplane Factory – the enterprise that designed and built the original Sling plane series.

Using specially modified, self-made drones, the challenge will be documented on video.

Six teenage pilots will take turns to fly the plane as the challenge moves from country to country.