The government needs to stabilise its state-owned enterprises to stimulate economic growth. That is the view of Professor Ronnie Ncwadi from the Nelson Mandela University.

He says attracting investors and curbing the high unemployment rate is key to economic growth in the Eastern Cape.

The province currently has the highest rate of 47.1% of young people aged 15-34 who are not in employment, education or training.

Ncwadi says that a strategy must be developed to keep skilled students in the Eastern Cape.

“Young people that are graduating are basically leaving the Eastern Cape because there are no job opportunities. They go to other provinces, which are already growing which means that Eastern Cape cannot grow and cannot create jobs.”

Unemployed graduates hope to be included in Mboweni’s budget speech:

“Therefore marginal social benefit in the Eastern Cape is actually reducing because those young people are not ploughing back into the province, because there are no jobs for them. Though the supply side talks to the skills that we are producing, but the demand side is not talking to that because there is no investment coming in the country,” explains Ncwadi.

A lack of jobs for young people in the Eastern Cape is leaving graduates desperate.

Abulele Mgagani says there is no future for young people in this country. “I have been trying to get a job, but it is difficult. I don’t know why it’s scarce, because there are a lot of jobs that the President [Cyril Ramaphosa] promised us but I haven’t got anything yet. I think there are about 90% of young people in my township who just stay at home and don’t have anything to do. Where are the jobs the President promised us,” says Mgagani.

Unemployed people to march ahead of budget speech:

As Finance Minister Tito Mboweni puts the final touches to his budget speech, about 200 unemployed people will on Wednesday march to the Cape Town municipal offices as part of their programme of action under the slogan “the cry for the excluded”.

In Cape Town, the organiser of the Assembly of the Unemployed, Khokhoma Motsi outlines some of the expectations from the budget.

In Free State: Some residents urge budget to cater for municipalities

In the Free State, some residents have urged Mboweni to ensure that his budget caters for municipalities.

Several of the province’s municipalities are in dire financial straits. Four of them have been placed under administration.

Community leader Mzwadile Phupha says the budget should focus on uplifting ailing municipalities.

Phupha says, “Our municipalities have collapsed in the Free State. We don’t have leadership so there can’t be money if there is no leadership. There can’t be money if there is no leadership because the money should be accounted for. The lives of our mothers and fathers in shacks must be uplifted.”