Do not ignore the unemployed
Sidwell Tshingilane Soweto
The unemployment rate in South Africa increased to 26.7% in the three months to March, from 24.5% in the previous quarter and above market expectations of 25.3%.
It was the highest reading since September 2005, as the number of unemployed rose by 10%, whereas employment fell by 2.2%.
The unemployment rate in South Africa averaged 25.29% from 2000 to 2016, reaching a high of 31.20% in the first quarter of 2003 and a record low of 21.50% in the fourth quarter of 2008, as reported by Stats SA.
There is a danger here because once you have more than 8 million young people sitting at home, not studying or training, there is a possibility that they might get up to no good.
According to Stats SA’s Vulnerable Groups Series report, which was released on April 18, if you see 10 unemployed people, seven of them are likely to be young people (66.6%) and six of those young people are unlikely to have completed matric (57%).
As we commemorate 40 years since June 16 1976, we must honestly reflect that, other than their right to vote, many young people are not enjoying a democratic dividend in South Africa.
This youth unemployment issue cannot be ignored any longer. As we remember what happened in Soweto 40 years ago, we must make an urgent call for the improvement of the lives of our youth.