Do not ig­nore the un­em­ployed

CityPress - - Voices -

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.

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