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To: National Treasury, Minister of Finance

Urge the Minister of Finance & National Treasury to continue funding short-term work opportunities

*Campaign Update* Just before the Budget Speech in February 2024, Youth Capital and amandla .mobi submitted 24,500 signatures to the Minister of Finance. Minister Godongwana announced that R7.4 billion has been identified for the Presidential Employment Initiative.

Youth Capital has been advocating for ongoing funding, and on Tuesday, 31 October 2023, had submitted over 16000 signatures, along with an open letter undersigned by 84 civil society organisations to National Treasury, in support of the Stimulus (PES) extension.

Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana,

We know that as South African youth, we are facing multiple challenges on our journey to earning an income. But public employment programmes are giving us our first work experience and offering us a chance to get our foot in the door to make sure that we can continue earning an income.

Social and public employment programmes have led young people into community services, like careers in early-childhood development and basic education, while also providing much-needed extra human resources in these areas. As teaching and education assistants we provide services within our communities that benefit everyone while earning some income to support ourselves, our families and our side hustles.

In future, they can also provide us with the skills and first work experiences needed to play a proactive role within the South African economy, including contributing to a just energy transition. We, therefore, urge you to please continue funding social and public employment programmes.

Yours sincerely,

Why is this important?

We know that one of the biggest challenges for young people trying to get into the labour market is the lack of work experience, with the National Treasury estimating that only 2 in 10 young people are likely to find a job. By providing young people with valuable opportunities to grow competencies and learn work skills, the Basic Education Employment Initiative, the Social Employment Fund and other public employment programmes support the private sector by preparing a generation of young people to transition into the labour market, effectively derisking youth unemployment. There is no single silver bullet, but short-term opportunities that are part of the Stimulus are crucial in addressing that gap, and leading young people into sectors that critically need support or those that are rife with potential for growth.

These programmes also drive money into local economies while providing skills - this is a key strategy to improve South Africa’s economic growth, offering our future workforce a springboard for income generation. Incomes, paid at the National Minimum Wage, have boosted purchasing power for entire households; young people reported spending their wage mostly on food, in small enterprise and the informal sector as well as in major retailers, or using it as seed capital for entrepreneurship ventures. 
Our economy depends on it now.
South Africa

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2024-06-24 09:50:52 +0200

When Finance Minister Godongwana delivered his budget speech in Parliament on 21 February, he announced, "....R7.4 billion has been identified for the Presidential Employment Initiative.”

At this stage we know that the Department of Basic Education, the Presidency and are ready to go and hire the next Phase of Education Assistants, but the Department of Labour is yet to release the funds - as the funding is being repurposed from Unemployment Insurance Funds. We will keep you posted as soon as we learn more about when the next phase will begin.

The stimulus extension is great news and it’s all thanks to you! We have since learned that an additional R2 billion is being allocated to the Initiative, which in times of fiscal constraints is a great win! While other public employment programmes did receive some funding cuts, it was much less than had been hinted at in the medium-term budget speech in October 2023.

2023-11-27 15:18:24 +0200

Youth Capital has submitted over 16000 signatures to National Treasury on Tuesday, 31 October 2023, to request the ongoing and long-term funding of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES), currently under review by National Treasury. Read more here: