Over 50% of youths jobless

10 November 2015 - 02:02 By Tanya Farber

While university students fight for their rights, just over 50% of the country's youth are unemployed. The Child Gauge 2015 report, released by the Children's Institute at the University of Cape Town, states that 51% of those aged between 20 and 24 are not employed or studying, while 21% are employed, 16% are still completing school and 12% are studying or training.This means South Africa has almost 3 million young adults with no income and little hope of a better future.Prof Jonathan Jansen, vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, said a long-term strategy was vital."I have enormous respect for the many NGOs, religious bodies and committed citizens who provide access to food, sanitary towels, shelter and medication. But we must have a long-term strategy for lifting and keeping whole communities out of poverty."The gauge also indicates that a lack of opportunity perpetuates the cycle of poverty.While 65% of black youths live in poor households, in which the per capita income is less than R620 a month, only 4.5% of white youths live in such households.Buti Manamela, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for youth development, said: "We need innovative youth entrepreneurs and youth co-operatives."But, says Kekeletso Selani, 23: "To start your own thing, you need money. To have money, you need a job. If you can't find a job because you didn't train, where are you going to get money to start something? It doesn't come easy."Stellenbosch University researcher Nic Spaull said: "There are still two very different education systems that are attended by the rich and poor respectively."The report also states that in the 15 to 34 age group of those who cannot find work, women are worse off in every province. In Northern Cape, 53% of females are unemployed compared with 38% of males...

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