- Over 20 million young South Africans are currently unemployed, a dire crisis on its own
- The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened this crisis with countless citizens financially impacted
- In light of this, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's Budget Speech has left the youth of the nation disappointed
By Lwazi Nongauza - Freelance Journalist
‘’… 20,4 million young people aged 15-34 years, 41,7% were not in employment, education or training (NEET) in Q1:2020 – an increase of 1,6 percentage points compared to Q4:2019…’’
This Statistics South Africa report threw Finance Minister Tito Mboweni into a serious predicament as he delivered his supplementary budget speech on the 24th of June.
The bad news and the ever-increasing number of young professionals and entrepreneurs demands for treasury to publically outlines government financial investment resources for youth constituency placed more pressure on Finance Minister to appease
Economic development practitioner, Bohlale Buzani expected supplementary the budget speech to be major youth bias additional relief announcements.
According to Buzani, Minister Mboweni's supplementary budget speech repeated the government's patronizing attitude towards young people.
“I together with millions of other young people are not happy with what was deliberately omitted in the supplementary budget speech. We also don't agree with Minister Mboweni’s settled notion that creating merely lower end jobs opportunities is the best thing it can do for young people.
As a young person with qualifications, fresh ideas and economic development relevant skills, I believe that now is the time that young people like myself should be involved in planning and deciding what is good the 2020 youth generations.’’
On the other hand, a 25-year-old serial entrepreneur, Thobile Nyawo and her associate partners were disappointed described the supplementary budget speech as a big blow that will contribute in killing their once-thriving businesses at the verge of collapsing.
“All my businesses have been thriving before Coronavirus enforced lockdown, things drastically changed after President Ramaphosa’s state of disaster announcement. Some of my businesses are losing and aren't making money while as the founder, I am still expected to meet the businesses financial commitments to debtors, landlords and suppliers.
With all due respect, Minister Mboweni’s speech didn’t inspire any confidence but it rather discouraged many entrepreneurs like me,” said Nyawo.
Young business and governance expert, Lynette Ntuli told Briefly.co.za the speech didn’t give any coherent government vision, inspire investor confidence and allay labour's worst fears.
According to Ntuli, Minister Mboweni should have explained in detail how the government is planning to revitalize key economic industries like renewable energy, mining, infrastructure development, science and technology.
“It lacked depth, details and a coherent alignment of immediate medium term priorities and actions. The address did little to boost confidence, outline delivery of the stimulus packages or engage business technically,” said Ntuli.
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