Eric Naki
Political Editor
2 minute read
17 Jun 2022
5:45 am

Ramaphosa ‘deeply concerned’ about school bullying

Eric Naki

Ramaphosa said young people must be inspired by the 1976 generation

Picture File: President Cyril Ramaphosa during the ANCs 110th anniversary celebrations. Picture: Gallo Images/Philip Maeta

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned bullying at schools and urged those involved to stop immediately.

The president said the government was “deeply concerned” about the number of young people who fell into depression and took their own lives.

“Now more than ever, we need youth to show ubuntu and kindness towards their peers. Bullying at school or anywhere else in our society must stop. The harassment of young people belonging to the LGBTQI+ community has no place in our country,” Ramaphosa said.

Addressing the National Youth Day commemoration in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, yesterday, he said young people must be inspired by the 1976 generation to look beyond their immediate circumstances and pursue their hopes and dreams. They must create livelihoods by pursuing their business ideas, focusing on their studies and always looking for opportunities for development, he said.

“As a society, we must appreciate the contribution of young people, invest in their development and support their efforts to define a new future for our country.”

Ramaphosa gave a report on the progress made to fight youth unemployment through youth empowerment and job creation. One of those was the government-initiated Youth Employment Service (YES) that he said had reached key milestones over the last year.

He said YES had created nearly 82,000 quality work opportunities for young South Africans which had injected over R4.6 billion into the economy through salaries alone.

The programme was created by Ramaphosa for corporates to partner with government to build young workforces through work experiences in industries of the future, such as digital, drones, green economy, urban farming, mining, global business services and creative industries.

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Early next month, the government will launch the Future of Work Ambassadors programme that will focus on improving and modernising the recruitment and retention of youth in the public service.

Also, the state’s effort to pursue innovative new ways of linking learning with earning, the National Skills Fund, is pioneering the pay-for-performance skills development model targeting the creation of 8,000 job opportunities.

Ramaphosa said in the past financial year, 7,500 young people have received financial enterprise support. Over 30,000 youth received other enterprise support from the National Youth Development Agency and the department of small business development.

“We have also launched the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which supports public and social employment, and which has created close on 880,000 job opportunities,” said Ramaphosa. “A flagship initiative of the employment stimulus is the school assistants programme, which has placed 287,000 young people in schools across the country.”

The latest programme to be launched through the employment stimulus is the Social Employment Fund, which had begun to recruit 50,000 participants in community safety; food and nutrition; digital inclusion; and sports, arts and recreation.