YES to public-private partnerships

Written by Topco Staff Writer


The private sector in South Africa plays an enormous role in our economy.

Our country is home to some of the biggest companies in Africa, across a diverse array of industries.

The private sector boasts considerable resources and world-class expertise, while providing jobs to millions of people.

During and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the public service can draw on the opportunities presented by the private sector. Through public-private partnerships (PPPs), South Africa can emerge from recession and forge a new path forward. A number of government programmes provide the perfect platform to cultivate partnerships with the private sector and in the coming months and years, these initiatives could hold the key to the economic recovery and future growth of South Africa.

YES – a blueprint for job creation

All government departments have mechanisms in place to support the creation of PPPs. On an overarching level, the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme, launched when President Cyril Ramaphosa took office in 2018, has already shown tremendous potential to create employment opportunities by working hand- in-hand with corporate partners.

The initiative, which places youth in 12-month paid internships, has been met with a positive response from the private sector. More than 1 000 companies are currently signed up, providing quality work experiences to over 35 000 youth

The work of YES has not stopped during lockdown. A total of 52 new businesses have signed up during this period, and sub-programmes have been tailored to the changed business environment brought by COVID-19.

A prime example is government’s partnership with various private sector companies, to get township businesses on board to create 118 000 facemasks in just seven weeks. Made in Diepsloot and Alexandra, the masks were exported to Europe.

“This consignment of masks exported to Belgium could offer a blue- print for helping township businesses improve their quality and competitiveness to the point that they can tap into export markets,” says YES CEO, Tashmia Ismail.

“Thanks to our partnerships, it is now possible for YES to offer local economies some relief. Each mask that is sold drives money back into the hands of young craftspeople and entrepreneurs and into township economies.”

Tumelo Chipfufa, the CEO of Cova Advisory, which advises government on a number of programmes, says that the YES programme has numerous advantages.

“The YES programme is an excellent way for businesses to invest in the skills of young

people, unearth talent and improve the competitive- ness of their businesses while at the same time supporting the transformation programme of the country.” – Tumela Chipfufa

 (This is a shortened version of an article by Dale Hes in Public Sector Manager entitled Public-private partnerships critical to SA’s future)


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