The current economic recovery measures improved the economy. The recent growth in South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) shows this change. The shift is due to the government’s economic recovery measures. Stats SA says the country’s GDP increased by 0.6 in the second quarter of 2023, following 0.4% in the first quarter.
These recovery measures encompass various strategies. These approaches include financial support for struggling businesses, significant infrastructure investments, and initiatives aimed at job creation, such as the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI), now operating as the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI) across all nine provinces.
Deputy President Paul Mashatile highlighted the impact of these measures during the Forty Under 40 South Africa Awards Ceremony. He revealed that the PYEI’s National Pathway Management Network generated approximately 135,000 job opportunities for young people between April and June. Of these, 108,061 were via the SA Youth platform, with an additional 27,088 options found through the Department of Employment and Labour’s Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA) website. Mashatile underscored the potential for further success if the PYEI receives increased funding.
He also called on young people to explore opportunities in digital sectors and other industries to combat the country’s high youth unemployment rate. Initiatives like the Youth Challenge Fund (YCF), Youth Pipeline Development Programme, and Youth Technology Innovation Fund (YTIF) were highlighted as essential to support entrepreneurship among young South Africans.
While acknowledging that these measures have contributed to economic stability, Mashatile stressed the need for ongoing vigilance and adaptability to address emerging challenges. He noted the progress made through Operation Vulindlela, which has been integral to the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan since its launch in October 2020. This operation has led to the implementation of 35 priority structural reforms to boost economic growth and job creation. Eleven reforms have been completed, while 14 are progressing well.
Regarding the energy sector, which remains a top priority, Mashatile announced amendments to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act to remove the licensing requirement for generation projects of any size. This change has paved the way for over 100 projects. These projects represent over 10,000 megawatts of new generation capacity and over R200 billion in private sector investment. The Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill has also been tabled in Parliament.
Mashatile emphasised that government investments in critical areas like education, healthcare, 4IR technologies, infrastructure, and skills development are essential to empower the youth and drive economic growth. He encouraged entrepreneurs to seize opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He called for collaboration among various stakeholders to unlock the demographic dividend and foster sustainable growth and progress on the continent.
Picture: X / ilimeblog
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