Ramaphosa delivered a keynote address at a youth engagement session held in Mbombela, Mpumalanga on Thursday.
THE ANC Youth League (ANCYL) comes ahead of the ruling party’s 112th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
In his speech, Ramaphosa said that ANC was “irrevocably committed” to empowering young people by tackling the “enormous problem” of youth unemployment.
“What I can say is that our government is not only pro-poor, it is also pro-youth, it is also pro-women,” he said.
The ANC president also stressed that youth unemployment was a “global problem”.
He went on to say that the ANC was addressing the problem by improving the economic situation of South Africa’s youth deprived of opportunities before democracy.
“The African National Congress is determined to undo all these chains of the past. We are determined to throw off the shackles of the past (to) reposition (and) make our economy capable of creating jobs for (youth),” he continued.
“That’s precisely what we’re working on and that’s precisely what we’re going to do.”
Ramaphosa further highlighted the importance of education, saying the government must support young people who want to continue their studies at tertiary institutions.
The president said more than a million young people have received scholarships over the years.
“We spend R48 billion a year to support young people with scholarships. This never happened under apartheid. Under apartheid, few people received scholarships, but today more than a million people have.
“These are the great achievements of this government. These are the great efforts that this government has put in place in addition to all other initiatives, which is why the focus has been on empowering the youth… to ensure that they acquire the necessary skills.
Watch Ramaphosa’s speech below:
‘Enough is enough’
Earlier, ANCYL President Collen Malatji called on Ramaphosa to fire civil servants who are not doing their jobs, saying young people were available and ready to serve.
Malatji urged the president and his administration to create more work opportunities.
“It is not us who receive donations from countries that have nothing, it must be us who give donations to them.
“Africans should no longer be the charity of Europeans, people who have nothing, who use our raw materials to build their economy and who then say that Africa is poor and give us food, after having used our raw materials to build their economy,” the ANCYL said. the president said.
“Enough is enough! Young people want to participate in the economic activities of their own country. It is not normal for a minority in a country to win the majority, it should be the other way around.
“We cannot let Eskom collapse because of engineers retiring when we also have unemployed engineers. Hire these young engineers to solve our problems. We cannot have a shortage of doctors when we have unemployed doctors,” Malatji added.
Additional reports by Vhahangwele Nemakonde