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Deputy President Paul Mashatile urged South Africans to support the newly launched National Youth Service (NYS) initiative to address the unemployment issue in the country.

Mashatile unveiled the South African National Service Institution (SANSI) in Pretoria on Tuesday along with the Department of Defense and the Department of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD).

The deputy president explained that the South African National Defense Force (SANDF)-led NYS is a pilot project implemented in the poorest districts of the country, where most of the youth is jobless.

"I am pleased that the DWYPD, in collaboration with the Department of Defense, adopted a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to the skills revolution for the unskilled," he said, SA News reported.

He added, "This will have a significant impact on restoring livelihoods, creating wealth, and alleviating poverty and hunger among the marginalized."

There are initiatives in the country like the Presidential Employment Stimulus, which has created over 1.7 million jobs. However, the deputy president noted that there are still many young people who are not employed, highlighting that the latest Quarterly Labor Force Survey revealed that 32.9% of South African youth are unemployed.

The survey also shows that 3.6 million young people aged 15 to 24, which is 35.5% of that age group, are not in employment, education, or training (NEET).

Mashatile further said that the initiative aims to make the best use of government resources by working on impactful projects that help the country's most vulnerable people.

"We envisaged inviting and encouraging young people to voluntarily join the National Youth Service, beginning with a character-building program and progressing to industry demand-based education and training, ultimately leading to gainful employment or entrepreneurship," he said.

SANSI has been established with the aim to develop, capacitate, and empower young unemployed Technical Vocational Education and Training and university graduates by providing a clear path for them to learn skills and lead to innovative entrepreneurship and long-term, sustainable employment.

With the help of this initiative, the government also wants to turn young people into brave change-makers who will address the country's biggest challenges in key areas including food and agriculture, maritime and ocean economy, engineering and construction, manufacturing and infrastructure projects, and future skills like digital technologies and electronics.

The deputy president noted that the provincial launches are coming soon, which aim to involve at least 100,000 young people this fiscal year.