The real problem in SA...is NOT jobs...or the lack thereof.
The real problem is numbers...what number? I hear you ask.
Bear with me and I will try to highlight. In the 2011 census 8.2 million South Africans are between the ages of 15 and 23. 23 being the average age according to the census. An extra one third of total population is under 15 years of age or around 17.6 mill persons. This is the real youth of South Africa - the real future of South Africa, almost 50% of our population. My child is also in this category - hence my concern.
There are currently almost 6 mill registered tax payers (not all are active though) from a population of 51.8 mill, which is roughly 11.4% of the population.
The numbers above indicate that we need at least 1 million new jobs created each and every year just for the youth.
These jobs need to be both significant and sustainable, as these numbers will just keep on increasing. It is also bandied about that unemployment is at 25% indicating that another significant number of jobs are already desperately required.
The real blatant issue is that this indicates we need to double or even triple our labour force right now just to absorb our current numbers.
I often hear the word "jobs" in both interviews and news clips, but that is all I hear - there appears to be a crucial word missing and that is "what jobs". Even if we start building new rail, roads and other infrastructure like crazy, and the private sector somehow doubles their workforce, are we still going have the capacity to absorb these types of numbers into society? How are we going to feed these numbers, agriculture is slowly but surely fading away in our economy - fact. So we will probably need to import food, at what costs to the country and our economy?
Surely the government should be ploughing every spare cent into the ground to feed the nation - food is the most basic of needs, not education, not tarred roads, not free water and not free electricity. These are merely nice to haves on a hungry stomach...
We need to start seriously looking at our populations numbers and real, workable ways to reduce this, OR we need to pull millions of jobs yearly out our box of tricks - which is the only workable option ?
Surely someone higher up the food chain than me should already see this, and shout it from the roof tops - every single day until the ministers that be actually stop yapping, and start doing something for a change.
Maybe mining and similar large co's have spotted the writing on the wall, and hence their ability to say "close a mine here, close a mine there, if we lose a mining license in SA so what".
Heres hoping, no praying, that someone brighter than me comes up with a very, very bright plan...very, very, quickly.....