The high levels of unemployment among black youths in South Africa pose multifaceted risks to both individuals, companies and the nation.
Unemployment Rate: The youth unemployment rate in South Africa was particularly high, with around 46.5%, and the rate for black youth tended to be higher than the national average. (STATS SA).
Poverty and Inequality: High youth unemployment contributes to poverty and inequality. Around 30.4 million South Africans were living in poverty, and black Africans were disproportionately affected. The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, was around 0.63, indicating significant income disparity and placing SA at the number 1 spot of the list of the highest GINI coefficients in the world. (STATS SA).
Crime and Social Unrest: Crime rates often have a correlation with unemployment rates. In South Africa, high levels of youth unemployment have been linked to increased involvement in criminal activities. The country has faced challenges related to violent crime and property crime, partially driven by economic disparities.
Skills Gap: A lack of access to quality education and skills training exacerbates the issue. Only a portion of South African youth had access to tertiary education and vocational training, limiting their employment prospects and overall economic contribution.
Economic Growth Potential: The World Economic Forum highlighted that high levels of youth unemployment result in a significant loss of economic potential and innovation. With the right investment in education and job creation, youth could contribute significantly more to the country’s economic growth.
Skills Development as One Contributor Towards a Better Life
Addressing this issue requires comprehensive strategies, including investment in education and skills training, promoting inclusive economic growth, and targeted policies to create sustainable job opportunities. Failure to address the unemployment crisis among black youth risks perpetuating inequality, hampering economic progress, and undermining social cohesion in South Africa.
As a Black youth, YOU can make a difference in your own life by completing a post matric qualification. There is a 28% drop in the unemployment rate of black youths who have such a qualification! You can build a better life for yourself by academic studies.
As a company, YOU can contribute to resolve this catastrophe by funding learnerships and bursaries of Black youth. And in the process, you will benefit from the available B-BBEE Skills Development Expenditure benefits.
Contact Skills College if you are interested as a potential student or if you are a company looking for expert support in maximising your Skills spend.