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S. African president says country faces youth joblessness "crisis"

16 Jun 2019, 21:07 ( 5 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at a press conference after an EU-South Africa summit at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov. 15, 2018.File Photo Xinhua.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday that South Africa's youth unemployment has reached crisis levels and needs to be addressed urgently.
   
"More than half of South Africans aged 15 to 24 are unemployed," the president told an event marking Youth Day. 
   
Ramaphosa call on the private sector to come on board and work with the state to tackle unemployment.
   
"If we are to urgently address this, we need the active participation of the private sector to create pathways into work for young people who are prepared to learn, work hard and better themselves," he said.
   
Ramaphosa also promised to "phase in" education for poor students. 
   
"We are determined that no young person in the country should be denied a decent education because of financial circumstances of the family.
   
"It is for this reason that the budget of the National Students Financial Aid Scheme has grown from 70 million rand (about 20 million U.S. dollars) in 1994 to 1.5 billion rand (about 110 million dollars) in 2018," he added. 
   
Youth Day is marked on every June 16 to commemorate the events of 1976 when thousands of young people rose up against the apartheid government.