Dr Gavin Lewis MPL
DA Gauteng Economic Development Spokesperson
None of the 10 000 targeted young people benefited from the Gauteng Department of Economic Development’s youth jobs placement programme.
The latest Annual Report for the department claims its failure to place 10 000 youth in jobs is due to budgetary constraints and delays in setting up the programme management office.
This despite significant under-spending of R23.3 million on the Integrated Economic Development programme and the failure to spend more than half of the allocated budget for Economic Planning.
Youth between the ages 15-35 years constitute 37% of the total population in Gauteng with the majority of the unemployed in the province being under 35. In 2010 55% of 15-24 year olds were unemployed in Gauteng, with 71% of these having to support between 1 and 4 dependents.
It is deeply problematic that the department fails the youth of Gauteng so miserably in its stated aim of leading, facilitating and managing sustainable job creation and inclusive economic growth and development in the province.
Addressing youth unemployment in Gauteng should be a priority, especially for the Economic Development Department. This, like the failure to support the much needed Youth Wage Subsidy, demonstrates the inability of the provincial government to take youth job creation seriously.