YES is part of the solution, not part of the problem, Mr Maimane
4 June 2018
On Wednesday 30 May, DA leader Mmusi Maimane visited the defunct Johannesburg Labour Centre. Unfortunately, negative publicity drawn to this visit was aimed at the Youth Employment Service (YES). Maimane, announced via a media statement that “the President’s target of one million jobs in three years through the YES will not be achieved,” and seemed to believe that this was a DoL programme.
Regrettably, Mr Maimane seems to have confused the launch of YES, which was undertaken by the president – in much the same way that a government official might open a new factory or speak at a conference – with the concept that this is a wholly state-run project.
To the contrary, YES is a private-sector led, not-for-profit organisation, built in collaboration with government and labour, which aims to create job opportunities for one million youth over the next three years. Two years ago, in 2016, the CEO Initiative, under the guidance of Jabu Mabuza, committed that business would work with government to address specific areas of concern in the SA economy. Colin Coleman and Stephen Koseff were appointed Co-Convenors of YES, appointing Tashmia Ismail-Saville as CEO of YES. The initiative was launched on 27 March 2018 and has been building a team and putting in place a carefully crafted strategy with partners. In addition, YES has also been engaged in negotiations on the drafting of the dti Gazette on the codes of good practice, forging national and international partnerships and developing internal infrastructure, since the launch two months ago.
YES is not a part of government, though they are an important piece of the puzzle required to help solve South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis. There are also numerous other partners in the initiative, including Labour, the National Business Initiative (NBI), the country’s listed companies, unlisted firms of all sizes, the World Bank, Harambee and every one of the organisations which has already (in just eight weeks) signed up to partner with us. YES are agnostic about the channels and partners with which it engages in the effort to solve the youth unemployment challenge. One of the greatest sources of pride for YES is having business, government and labour, collaborating constructively for our country’s youth. We live by the African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.