The Yes initiative, launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a government-led programme to combat youth unemployment, has provided feedback on its race selection criteria.
When registering on the Yes website, users are asked three questions:
- Are they Black, Coloured, or Indian.
- Are they South African.
- Are they between 18 and 34.
Selecting “no” to the first question, and yes to the other two questions, produces a pop-up which says: “I’m sorry. Yes is only available to Black, Indian, or Coloured South Africans who are 18–34 years.”
Redress the skewed economic realities
The Yes initiative told MyBroadband that the organisation appreciates “how difficult the job-seeking journey is for people of every race”.
“However, Yes’s approach aims to redress the skewed economic realities created by South Africa’s past,” it stated.
“The most recent quarterly labour survey from Stats SA shows that the rate of Black, Indian, and Coloured youth who are not in employment, education, or training are significantly higher than those who are white. Black youth experience the highest rate – at more than double that of white.”
Yes stated that thanks to decades of systematic exclusion through apartheid, these youth are “also less likely to be able to afford tertiary education, or have access to the networks that give first-time job seekers a leg-up into the working world”.
“For these reasons, the Yes programme focuses on connecting previously disadvantaged youth to job opportunities.”
“Companies can earn points on the B-BBEE scorecard by participating in the Yes programme. We therefore align our race definitions and requirements with B-BBEE legislation,” it added.
“We invite white job-seeking youth to visit the websites of some of our partners, including: www.giraffe.co.za; www.careerjunction.co.za; www.jobstarter.co.za, and www.lulaway.co.za.
The Yes movement is bigger than race, it concluded.