Government is planning to implement Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) codes to address unemployment in South Africa. This is stated in the new Draft National Youth policy for 2020 – 2030. According to the document, gazetted by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, government is planning to get more South African youth into education and employment opportunities over the next 10 years.

“The alignment of all legislation, codes and charters that flow from the BBBEE Act will ensure that the state procurement lever is used more effectively to advance socio-economic targets in certain geographies and industries,” states the document.

In May 2019, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published amendments to the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice which came into effect on 31 November last year and will affect businesses around the country. South Africa’s unemployment rate remains five times the rate for the rest of the world. However, to most South Africans, this distressingly high rate does not capture the full extent of joblessness.

“Large numbers of young people exited the education system prematurely and possess no professional or technical skills, making them effectively unemployable. About 60 percent of unemployed youth aged below 35 years have never worked,” says the document.

Skills Development is going to be a priority for achieving South Africa’s economic growth and employment goals. This BBBEE element will measure the extent to which employers carry out initiatives designed to develop the competencies of black employees. and black.

Companies are also encouraged to align their enterprise development and supplier development initiatives with their supply chain requirements or preferential procurement.

Enterprise and Supplier Development assesses the extent to which companies buy goods and services from empowering suppliers with strong BBBEE recognition levels. This will essentially assist and accelerate the growth and sustainability of black enterprises.

Some of the other proposals in the document include:

  • The public service internship programme should be scaled up to create 60,000 internship opportunities or reach 5% of total employment. Government departments, provinces and municipalities will be required to link the internship programme to their human resource development strategies to create a talent pool from which to recruit when vacancies are available.
  • Companies should be engaged to set clear commitments in terms of opening the workplace for young people who require internships, apprenticeships and work-integrated learning opportunities;
  • Practical subjects such as entrepreneurship, technical skills and handwork (art) need to be introduced to the school curriculum help those who are not inclined to proceed to higher education;
  • A national campaign coordinated by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology must be initiated to place university students and graduates who need work experience in state-owned companies;
  • All government departments including municipalities should have internship programmes, which should be monitored in terms of numbers and quality;
  • Every qualification at university should be coupled with an experiential component to ensure graduates have experience when they qualify;
  • Government should take a sectoral approach to connect young entrepreneurs to opportunities in different sectors of the economy and various programmes, such as the infrastructure building programme and general public procurement.
  • The introduction of mandatory targets for socio-economic development and job creation for all tenders above R10 million;
  • There should be a statutory body to regulate BBBEE verification, and the Department of Trade and Industry should be empowered to revoke the accreditation status of accredited verification agencies that deviate from officially defined processes of accreditation.

For more information on the National Youth Policy Draft visit

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