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: https://youthcapital.co.za/youth-capital-welcomes-minister-of-finance-one-year-extension-of-the-presidential-employment-stimulus/
To: National Treasury, Minister of Finance
Urge the Minister of Finance & National Treasury to continue funding short-term work opportunities
[Update] We welcome the Minister of Finance's decision to extend the Presidential Employment Stimulus by one year, announced during the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement tabled on Wednesday, 1 November 2023.
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.
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.