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Data highlights need for unified intervention to save SA youth

18 April 2016 - 16:48 By Pericles Anetos

South Africa's future is bleak‚ says Statistician General Pali Lehohla‚ as a large portion of the country’s human capital is being wasted. Lehohla said that South Africa is losing out on a demographic dividend because of the issue facing the youth aged 15-34‚ which makes up 36.5% of SA’s population.The flaw in the Africa rising story“The youth are hungry‚ they are unemployed‚ they uneducated and they are involved in crime‚” Lehohla said in Cape Town at the release of the report on vulnerable groups Series 1: The Social Profile of the youth‚ 2009 -2014. The briefing was also broadcast in Pretoria.ANC defends Nkandla, and throws workers to the wolves: CWULehohla said that the most affected were the black and coloured youth in the country who lagged behind in many respects including the completion of a bachelor degree proportionately compared to white and Indian youth in the country.Lehohla said that that number of black and coloured students attending university has dramatically increased‚ but since 2000‚ there has been a steady decline in the completion of a degree.“We are not increasing the proportion of people who are going past a certain level [of education]... if you don't move the needle proportionally you’re not making a difference‚” said Lehohla.Lehohla said that all the systems and tools that were in place to help the youth with education were not unified – there were too many and they were too scattered to actually make an impact.Young people still constituted the majority of those affected by crime and also those who perpetrated crimes. An individual aged 16 -34 was twice as likely to be assaulted or robbed.Lehohla said that current circumstance were a reflection of the legacy issues the country was facing and they did not paint a pretty picture for lawmakers.Between the period that the report covered‚ the percentage of all workers in skilled occupation increased in all ages and race groups except the black African population‚ which decreased.In most provinces the youth are more likely to live in poverty than any other population group‚ but the report noted that there was a decline in the rate.There was also a decline in youth-headed households from 27.5% in 2009 to 26.1% in 2014...

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