Bleak outlook for young South Africans

2012-09-04 20:26

Cape Town – The youth unemployment level in South Africa will take longer than previously thought to revert to levels seen prior to the global financial crisis, an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report said on Tuesday.

South Africa's unemployment figures stood at 25% for the past year and was at 24.9% in the second quarter, according to the latest official statistics.

But SA's youth are not alone in their unemployment woes. Their their global peers are also experiencing unprecedented unemployment levels as the eurozone debt crisis spreads.

"As the euro area crisis continues in its second year, the impacts are spreading further, slowing down economies from East Asia to Latin America," the UN labour agency pointed out.

"The projected decline in youth unemployment in the developed economies region is not expected to be enough to pull the global rate downwards," it said in a statement.

In South Africa, the government has stepped up efforts to cut unemployment figures.

Key proposals in the National Development Plan is improving skills development and breaking disincentives to hiring young people, as well as increasing competition and breaking monopolies.

It also focuses on strengthening the social wage in order to raise the living standards of the unemployed and those with lower paying jobs.

The ILO warned that the expected drop in youth jobless numbers in developed economies, from a forecast 17.5% this year to 15.6% in 2017, also gave no reason to celebrate.

This is because the decline would arise "principally because discouraged young people are withdrawing from the labour market and not because of stronger hiring activity among youngsters."


  • titus.ramapuputla - 2012-09-04 21:05

    We live in a globally competitive environment. Ke tshepa go re bjalo ka ma Afrika borwa,we will have a solution to this.If we managed to manage the 2010 world cup,then we can create employment.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-09-04 21:49

      But the 2010 Cup was a transient thing and today we sit with empty stadiums that need maintaining and having to pay people to go and sit in them. And the workers that built those stadiums have few, if any, new construction jobs to go to.

      morne.hennings.5 - 2012-09-05 05:58

      This is not a once-off sporting event, this is the long-term future of SA. With current situation and mentality of certain groups the future does look grim indeed. But all is not lost if we can start pulling together as a nation. Hope we see this one day...

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-05 08:44

      bright spark, we didnt make any money from the 2010 world cup, we lost money.

      Don.Tandy - 2012-09-05 08:45

      The 2010 world cup was managed by FIFA, leaving themselves very rich and SA in debt, so using this event as an example of employment creation is a bit hollow.

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-04 21:25

    We have too many people to support already, if the birth rate continues to grow rather than decline we will never have enough. It's quite simple less people more resources to go around.

      hengelbrecht - 2012-09-05 09:55

      You hit the nail on the head! That is the ROOT casue of all of this and the first issue to fix. Education after that!

  • ft.burhaak - 2012-09-04 21:54

    South Africa has evry reason to be 1 of the most prospering countries in the world.The bleakness may be stemming from the petty hatred for each other and the high handedness of the rich over the poor.

      Don.Tandy - 2012-09-05 08:51

      Agreed, it has the potential, but as long as the ANCorruption and the gangsters that run it are in charge, with their ineptocratic ways, it's a steep downhill slippery slope we are on.

  • wwrer.ww - 2012-09-04 22:00

    The problem is really entrepreneurship. What generates wealth? If you produce something and you can sell it. So whether it is clothes, software programs, fruit and vegetables, or whatever, those factors that stand in the way of producing more need to be looked at. Why aren't we producing more?

      saffaseun.inoz - 2012-09-04 22:31

      Because all the farmers has been killed off. Thats why.

      leenesh.singh - 2012-09-05 08:20

      @saffaseun.inoz entrepreneurship is not only farming. And if all the farmers are dead, where's all the fruit and veg coming from.

      raven.sqarr - 2012-09-05 09:23

      @ leenesh.singh - South Africa is now a net IMPORTER of food. Meaning the price of maize will go up because of a drought in America where we by our maize from. Grapes from Egypt, oranges from Spain etc, etc, Please open your eyes and ears before your mouth

  • Sedeshan Naidoo - 2012-09-04 22:05

    be careful everyone! any protests against youth unemployment will result in a swift stoning by Cosatu!

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-09-04 23:43

    Unfrtunately the nly bleekness in SA is coming frm opression,since poor people are seen as lesser beings,and they suffer the most the under the pretext of the 'law'.

  • andy.zondi - 2012-09-05 00:32

    This might sound cliche but the key to jobs and a good life is EDUCATION, our matrics keep getting dumber each year nd there are more students failing maths and science than passing it, its simple: If you don't do well in skul then you won't get a job and you'll b poor, its that simple...FIX THE EDUCATION DEPT SO U CAN FIX THE COUNTRY

      Don.Tandy - 2012-09-05 08:52

      Spot on Andy.

      Michael Mqondi - 2013-05-11 03:36

      You don't seem to understand that there are masses sitting at home with university master's degrees etc

  • juannepierre - 2012-09-05 04:10

    Old people need to retire... Why are you still working after fifty five?

      naas.scholtz - 2012-09-05 08:23

      @juannepierre - Simply because our hard earned pension disappeared! Or was stolen? Who knows? But there is nothing to live on if we do not work. Apart from that, we sit with knowledge and experience that can make a difference in umpteen different sectors of the South African economy. If only we can get rid of the stupid racist regime's lost cause politics.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-09-05 11:21

      They tried lowering the retirement age in order to increase employment in many Western Europen countries and it was a total failure. You need experience people to train and mentor the young. Also no pension system can survive if people retire too early. Anyway, in South Africa a large part of the population never reaches 50 so the number of old people is just a small fraction to that of the young.

      carol.paterson.923 - 2012-09-05 14:32

      @juannepierre - 55 yrs of age is NOT old and secondly the over 55's know what work is. The are reliable, intellegent, honest, loyal etc... They also have to work because the government has made it very difficult to survive on existing pensions.

      carol.paterson.923 - 2012-09-05 14:38

      People are not old at 55yrs. People have to work over 55yrs because the government have made it that pensions cannot cover the high cost of living. Let me also say that 55yr olds are more reliable, hardworking, non-striking, honest intellegent people and there are alot of companies who are still prepared to take on people of this age.

      wendy.webb.980 - 2012-09-05 18:02

      Retirement age for most is 65, and even that age was set in the days when most people didn't live beyond 70. And, to add to what Carol said, most people nowadays do not have pensions, but provident funds. One either takes a living annuity and the lump sum is at the mercy of the markets, or one takes a life annuity which is not feasible when they would be taken in a low interest environment.

  • morne.s.smit.5 - 2012-09-05 06:54

    This crisis is in the making long long time ago. I believe it stems from the late 60's through the 80's when the ANC started it's policy of out breading the "Illegitimate regime". They never once thought once we have the vote and most importantly the POWER how do we give these people jobs. Realistically SA on has X amount of jobs. Look at the statistics Botswana 1,591,232; Angola 10,593,171; Mozambique 19,607,519; SA 43,647,658; Zimbabwe 11,376,676; Namibia 1,820,916. South African has 6 to 8 times the population of souther African neighbours. We are in this position because of greed for power. We would have gone to post Apartheid discussions when we did regardless of numbers due to economic pressures imposed on SA in 80's. The ANC wanted to ensure they had the masses. Now they do but have nothing to offer in return while they fill their bank accounts in Parliament.

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-05 06:54

    You and your parents VOTED for this to happen................

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-09-05 08:26

      As opposed to when people didn't have a vote and the economic statistics were based on 12% of the population? cut the crap Vince. I am not an ANC supporter and never will be but your myopic viewpoints are also part of the problem the country faces. Western Europe is currently in tatters, the US' outlook is grim, China's production at a ten year low? guess what clever person the world is in a bad state. Our current government is making it WORSE for the citizens by not helping alleviate the pain but rest assured hard times are coming, whether your government is white, coloured pink or green! whether East, West, North or South! The world itself has a bleak future!!

      neil.harris.370177 - 2012-09-05 08:28

      "The ILO warned that the expected drop in youth jobless numbers in developed economies, from a forecast 17.5% this year to 15.6% in 2017, also gave no reason to celebrate." Its a worldwide phenomenon tool! or does the ANC have power everywhere?

  • rasthami.m1 - 2012-09-05 07:38

    Globalization its playing out ,if stimulation of national markets and trade policies within the nation was playing a huge role we wouldn't be in this appaling digits of unemployment !!!

  • Thobile Lugwadu - 2012-09-05 08:18

    I am one of those who have given up looking for a job. I have run out of gas and would now retreat to a cave and carve my own way to my own destiny. Committing crime in order to survive will never cross my mind. There are some days when i have to chair community meetings,with just a glass of river water in my stomach....but time will tell.

      carol.paterson.923 - 2012-09-05 14:46

      @ Thobile - tut tut!! Go tell your leader. Unfortunately that's what happens when you vote for an idiot

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-09-05 11:21

    Because of all the strike actions, companies have started to implement other means to get the job done. Look at computers, how many jobs became redundant since computers and computerised machinery were introduced. This is a much better way of keeping up production and they are not faced with strikes etc. So, thats why we are seeing less and less jobs available. Walmart will be setting up self service points which will start the ball rolling, so less jobs for cashiers in future. In the old days or should I say in the past, companies used to carry (dead wood) employees but today they cant afford to do this any longer as it is not cost effective and you are stuck with them. In a lot of companies you go through stages where you are busy and you need to employ people to help you through then you have a quiete period where not much is happening then you need to down size your work force. This is a problem today. If you take on extra employees you are stuck withe them in tough times when you try to get rid of them you have a war with the union. Thats why companies are turning away from employing people and I for one cant blame them. Where I was employed, I am retired now, when the company got busy, the workers used to hold the boss to ransom, they came daily wanting more money or if that did'nt work they wanted time off. When business was stagnant, these same workers could'nt work hard enough. Why, because they were afraid of losing their jobs. So there it is.

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