Private healthcare sector injects millions to create jobs for youth

Pharma Dynamics, one of South Africa’s largest generic medicine providers, has committed R6-million towards the human capital investment that will give 88 young people an opportunity to gain work experience in a number of sectors.

This happens as the country’s unemployment rate sits at 32.1%, according to Stats South Africa.

Pieter Engelbrecht, Pharma Dynamics’ chief financial officer, said the aim is to provide a springboard for career advancement within the pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chains.

He said the group was able to pull this off in partnership with the Youth Employment Sector, a private sector-led initiative, with the aim of unlocking South Africa’s demographic dividend by investing in skills development and job-creation initiatives for the youth.

Detrimental impact of unemployment

The staggering unemployment rates among young people have a detrimental impact on the country’s economy, according to Engelbrecht.

“Addressing unemployment is not just a matter of economic necessity but a moral imperative for the nation’s future prosperity and social stability,” he said.

“One of the most pressing concerns surrounding youth unemployment is its detrimental impact on the economy.

“High levels of youth unemployment stifle economic growth by depriving the workforce of valuable human capital and productivity.”

He added that youth unemployment presents a multifaceted challenge that requires urgent attention and innovative solutions.

“We have done this since 2019, and with 53% of these youth coming from grant-recipient households, we immediately see the ripple effect across families and communities.”

Reversing the role of financial support

One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Nomsa Simango from Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, said the period of unemployment took a toll on her wellbeing, distancing her from her family and causing her constant stress and sadness.

She relied on her mother for financial support, and she felt inadequate and unable to contribute to her family’s needs.

“My emotional state leaned towards depression. However, this opportunity breathed new life into me and turned me into a happier and more cheerful person,” said Simango.

“Finally, I had a reason to wake up each morning with a smile, knowing that I was heading to a job I loved.

“I was now in a position to take care of my mother, reversing the role of financial support.”

Simango now works in the hospitality and tourism sectors as a chef.

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