Written by on February 8, 2024

Written by: Tasha Siziba


President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address socioeconomic issues ahead of the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, prompting calls for an actionable plan from young people.

Young people are seeking solutions to socio-economic challenges, as previous promises made in previous addresses have not been fulfilled.

The SONA comes amid ongoing unemployment in South Africa, exacerbated by barriers to postsecondary education for the 2023 matric class.

President Cyril Ramaphosa engaged the youth of Belhar in Cape Town on Tuesday urging South African youth not to be choosy when job opportunities present themselves.

The Health and Allied Workers Indaba Trade Union (HAITU) president, Rich Sicina, has accused government of showing a lack of urgency in resolving the current unemployment crisis in the public healthcare sector.

“Our view as health in our treatment is that this is an acceptance of defeat it’s a display of I don’t care attitude and lack of patriotism from those in political positions of power president in particular and his leadership.”

Sicina says under the ruling party ANC, they are just proving beyond reasonable doubt that there’s nothing they are going to do for this country.

He further says, learning institutions provide diverse courses that equip students with various skills, enabling them to enter the workforce and significantly contribute to the nation’s economy.

“Then you have a sitting president telling them that it’s like they are saying, even if you are a doctor, even if you are an engineer, even if you have done social work, even if we are a nurse, you can take any other job that comes your way. Even you have that qualification, seven years qualification.”

South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of unemployment in the world with concerns raised over youth unemployment.

A Witwatersrand medical student Katlego Makhubu, say the president is ignoring the bigger issue of unemployment in this country.

“I think the problem isn’t that youth are being picky with job opportunities. The problem is that there are no job opportunities in the first place. Even if youth choose not to be picky, that’s a temporary solution to a very, a much bigger issue. It’s like a plaster over a big wound.”

1st year student at the Wits University studying Psychology said it’s a bit unfair because you go into varsity with aspirations wanting something very specific. You cannot be picky with the job that you want after you’ve invested time and money really doesn’t make sense.

“It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense economically. It doesn’t make sense in any aspect, even socially, because that’s why we end up with a lot of people that are unhappy with their jobs because it’s not the job that they initially wanted”

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