South Africa has a record-high unemployment rate for job seekers between the ages of 15 to 24. The youth unemployment rate remained unchanged between the third and fourth quarters of 2021, sitting at 66.50%. Statistics SA revealed that the manufacturing sector lost 85 000 jobs during the fourth quarter, while construction shed over 25 000.

On a positive note, the agricultural sector tallied up 38 000 new jobs. In this month’s edition of Public Sector Leaders, we take a look at public-private partnerships that assist in creating job opportunities in South Africa, especially for the youth.

With all the doom and gloom, there is a ray of sunshine as the South African economy continues to open as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. The private and public sector continue to work together to create employment.

His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa noted during the State Of The Nation address: “We all know that [the] government does not create jobs, businesses create jobs. Last year our unemployment rate reached its highest recorded level. Unemployment has been caused by low growth, which has resulted from the long-term decline in investment in our economy, which has lasted for a number of years.”

President Ramaphosa said that the state “must create an environment in which the private sector can invest and unleash the dynamism of our economy”.


Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is a not-for-profit social enterprise building African solutions for the global challenge of youth unemployment. They work with a variety of partners who are committed to results that can work at scale – including government, the private sector, civil society, and over 1.5 million youth. Some of the key partners that they work with are: BPESA, Pick ‘n Pay, Unilever, Gauteng Government, FNB, Standard Bank, BUSA, SASOL and the Presidency South Africa.

Harambee is committed to changing the system by removing the barriers that keep millions of young South Africans locked out of opportunities. Harambee’s vision is of a growing economy and a society that works, powered by the potential of young people.

Read the full article in the April edition of Public Sector Leaders Magazine (page 42-43) at the link below: 

Source: Published April 2022. 

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