No jobs for youth a 'ticking time bomb'

2010-08-27 14:45

Cape Town - The impact of the recession on youth unemployment is a "ticking time bomb", Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said on Friday.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, Mdladlana said the effect on youth of the global economic crisis that broke out in 2008 was so serious that unless swift action was taken, youth unemployment could become unsustainable, putting social cohesion at risk.

The inaugural Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development economic survey, released last month, indicated South Africa had the worst rate of unemployment among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 of all countries surveyed.

Racial disparities further compounded matters, with 53.4% of all young blacks between the ages of 15 and 24 unemployed at the end of 2009 - three times worse than the unemployment rate of 14.5% of young white South Africans, he said.

Young people who lacked general or vocational education and work experience were especially vulnerable to the crisis.

"As part of our intervention to alleviate youth unemployment, we introduced apprentice, learnership and internship allowances as (a) form of subsidies to learners while undergoing training under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

"The employers also received tax allowances under the Income Tax Act administered by the South African Revenue Service."

Mdladlana said these allowances had since been transferred to the higher education and training department, along with the Skills Development Act functions.

  • Johnathan - 2010-08-27 15:03

    So take away minimum wages. The whole logic of minimum wages is flawed. It basically goes like this: Someone "cannot live on" R1000 a month, so we must make the minimum wage in this industry R2000 a month and then the worker will be better off. OK, so if that is true, why not make the minimum wage R50 000 per month? Then the worker will be even much better off, won't she? No prizes for guessing what the end result of this is - it happened to thousands of workers in the textile industry in Newcastle just a few days ago. They lost their jobs (even after trying to keep the sheriff from closing the factory themselves!) because the company couldn't produce while paying them minimum wage. Now they have NO JOBS AT ALL.

  • Juan - 2010-08-27 15:09

    Remember our 'youth' thinks they are entitled to everything without working for it. Also they want "Jobs" not "work".

  • Strike and demand. - 2010-08-27 15:11

    The oppresive labour laws have resulted in most companies big and small downscaling and becomming less dependant on labour.

  • malcolm - 2010-08-27 15:12

    I think that the anc is a ticking time bomb minister

  • trevor webber - 2010-08-27 15:18

    Mayby when the goverment drops affirmative action and black empowerment policies ,you might find more foreign investments and jobs. Stop creating racism

  • Juan - 2010-08-27 15:19

    53.4% of black youths unemployed. 14.4% of white youths unemployed. those are the facts. But interpreting these facts with regards to productivity, work ethic and education level is not allowed, right?

  • EDUCATION - 2010-08-27 15:22

    These figures don't exactly tell the truth.. Look at the amount of qualified whites in this age category, as a percentage of the amount of white people in this age category, and do the same with blacks, and you'll see why so much more black youth stay unemployes. They also keep on striking for more money but won't make an effort to educate themselves further

  • Investor - 2010-08-27 15:33

    South Africa has some of the best economists in the world who are willing to assist with developing economic policies to create growth, jobs and service delivery. The problem is the ANC refuses to listen and refuses to elect leaders based on merit and performance.

  • dodgy doom - 2010-08-27 15:45

    he says all the unemployement is from the ages of 15 to 24?? but is that not the time when you are studying at school or at university? coclusion made: the minister has no idea what hes talking about

  • J Man - 2010-08-27 15:47

    We need a serious solution and fast. I do have 1 solution that will provide a HUGE boost in at least 6 different sectors. Namely: 1)Agriculture 2)Education 3)Textiles 4)Tourism 5)Retail 6)Resturaunts/ coffee shops 7)Entertainment. What can possibly do all this. 1 Universal product. That's what. How? Because this 1 product will start with Agriculture and then have a ripple down effect into all the others. Sound awesome?? And here it is: Legalize Hemp and Marijuana. This WILL uplift all these sectors I have mentioned and provide 100 000s of people with jobs,income, security. Now Remove any preconceived prejudice you have against it and actually think for a second. If you dont understand how these sectors can all possibly be linked together then use your noggin and think about it. This is all very possible. I will write an article on this soon. Peace

  • Ian - 2010-08-27 15:49

    And it gets worse.............with all the BEE/Affirmative Action appointees, where a lot of inexperienced youngters are getting all the top jobs, what about the next generation? In the past there was movement, people fell of the top as people joined the bottom. Now the present youngsters will be in these jobs for the next 30 odd years, hence no movement at the top............So what are the chances for the next generation?

  • Jacobus Lewis - 2010-08-27 16:01

    The fact that the majority of black youth are umemployed will have a ripple effect socially and economically on the entire SA. One has to remember that social unrest occurs when the majority of people are unhappy with their environment. They will tend to look at who they can blame for their current situation. Whether its right or wrong many will come to the conclusion that their current predicament is the direct result of Apartheid. Whether you want to admit it or not Apartheid caused economic and social unevenness along racial lines that persists until this day. Apartheid may have nothing to do with their current situation but the human pshyce is made in such a way that they will deduce there current situation as a result of not having the same available resources as most whites have to their expense. The only solution is that more resources needs to be channeled to black areas, whether it be free education or what ever means. This would curb the tide of thinking in blaming others for your predicament. Whites may feel this is unfair(FREE EDUCATION TO A CERTAIN RACE), but I believe social unrest would be more detrimental to them than giving blacks opportunitities like free education. I had the priviledge of getting my degree with the hard labour of my parents , as well as through bursaries and see my proposed solution not as a long time priviledge like AA, but as a short term solution to curb social unrest and to make sure that more people are giving the chance in life to excel and not just those with money.

  • Ian D - 2010-08-27 16:02

    Yes, it is a timebomb, BUT the UNIONS, LABOUR LEGISLATION, POOR EDUCATION and BAD GOVERNANCE are the main PROBLEMS. The TRANSNET strike cost the economy THOUSANDS of jobs and so is the existing strike and threats/actual secondary strikes. Unions are not interested in the unemployed, only in their membership levels which because of their intransigence are declining. If they lose 8% of the membership base, it stands to reason that they need to increase their levy income by at least 8.7% + inflation to sustain their current and future cash requirements. Anything less and they are losing! Hence ridiculous demands with concessions is the only way out! In the interests of the unemployed? NO! Costs of employment in terms of existing labour legislation are too high. You cannot tax incentivise your way out of a hole. Incentives can be removed at the stroke of a pen! Education standards in most government schools are appalling, with under qualified educators and their bad work ethic. This is passed onto the learner. Govt incompetence means they cannot see the wood for the trees, just like their UNION buddies. Sad, so much potential, ruined by so few!

  • xxx - 2010-08-27 16:10

    and when they have jobs and be greatful that they have jobs they strike! On this trent there will be no new jobs created for the youth.

  • Shorts - 2010-08-27 16:14

    There is an obvious quick-fix solution to this situation. Fire all the tens of thousands of striking publc sector 'workers' and give these unemployed people their jobs. No need to worry about whether or not they are skilled enough for the roles, with the right attitude & commitment, they can learn as they go along. The presently dysfunctional incumbents really have no idea what they are doing anyway.

  • anton van niekerk - 2010-08-27 16:25

    i think Mr. Mdadlana is talking nonsense. If his Department is doing what it is suppose to do there would be no unemployment. He scored on performance management indicators only 10% on Minister's outputs the past few months - it was even in the newspapers. He should stop talking & start DOING something about it. There is a lot of work out there but he together with his "LRA tricks & threats" scares off a lot of stakeholders considering employment of employees who WANT to work. He should consider retiring or alternatively lift his own performance!

  • Igor - 2010-08-27 18:29

    Educated parents have fewer children. So lets improve our education system NOW!!!

  • mzansi 4 sure - 2010-08-28 13:32


  • Jay - 2010-08-28 16:05

    Their is always the National Service option. Even continue with studies during National Service. Better than being on the street.

  • PeterJ - 2010-08-29 05:31

    Are they unemployed or unemployable?

  • Just another number - 2010-08-31 20:03

    want to talk about Racial disparities further compounded matters, with 53.4% of all young blacks between the ages of 15 and 24 unemployed at the end of 2009 - three times worse than the unemployment rate of 14.5% of young white South Africans, he said. this is something he sucked out of his thumb. We do Charity work and helping 1black family against 133whites lol cmon where does he get that percentage.Whites lose their jobs because off black action bee.whites are one paycheck away from losing everything .we don`t get free electricity yes 100units free...jip been to the college jip saw the i wonder who is racists.we can`t join our own goverment`s youth jip anc is goverment so that means our goverment is racists ?no whites allowed ring a bell the posters

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