The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Monday announced its decision to invest an amount of R4, 5 billion into the youth of the country over the next three years, in a bid to fight the ever-increasing unemployment rate.
Currently, youth unemployment in South Africa stands at 53.7%, down from an an-all time high of 54.50% in the first quarter of the year (according to Statistics South Africa).
IDC CEO, Geoffrey Qhena says that making the youth an active and integral part of the country’s economy has become the institution’s main priority, as they centre all strategies and actions around this agenda.
“What is urgently needed is a concerted, sustained effort to create an environment that produces jobs, allows young people to acquire skills and allows them to branch out on their own through entrepreneurship,” he said.
According to Qhena, who delivered an address at the IDC National Youth Enterprise Conference in Midrand last week, the IDC is in a favourable position to financially aid youth-owned enterprises that creates employment, because contrary to the positioning of the private commercial lending sector, it had ‘more appetite for risk’.
“It is no secret that access to funding is one of the major stumbling blocks for new businesses. Because of the IDC’s mandate of stimulating the economy, we are able to take a more patient approach and, within specific funding schemes, offer preferential lending rates compared with commercial banks,” he said.
– City Press; The Industrial Development Corporation