'Social timebomb' for SA

2009-12-22 00:00

PRETORIA — South Africa is sitting on a “social timebomb” with more than three million youths between the ages of 18 and 24 who don’t have jobs and don’t receive any education or training.

According to a report titled “Responding to the educational needs of post-school youth”, which was published recently, it is not only an educational problem, but part “of a socio-economic disaster”.

In 2007, 2,8 million of the roughly 6,7 million youths between 18 and 24 had no jobs or training. Only 35,3% of them attended educational institutions.

The study was done by the Centre for Higher Education and Transformation (Chet), the Further Education and Training Institute (Feti), the government and the Ford Foundation, which provided funding for the study.

It found that the current post-school education and working environment is characterised by a large number of students who leave without any further training opportunities. The college sector has been recapitalised, but has serious problems with regard to capacity.

Furthermore, the merging of institutions also resulted in a decrease in opportunities for young people, while the Setas (sector training bodies) have failed and about two million foreign workers with relatively good qualifications have entered the labour market.

“The two worst things that can happen is to leave the school system between grade 10 and grade 12, and achieving matric without exemption,” states the report.

The study found that SA will have to expand and improve post-school training opportunities drastically if the state wants to do something about the hopelessness of thousands of young people.

It was also found that, between 2000 and 2007 there was little “demographic transformation” with regard to who participates in higher education.

In 2000 the chances of whites being in universities were two times higher, and in 2007 it was three-and-a-half times higher.

There are also deep-rooted inequalities with regard to access to and benefits from tertiary training. Financial help plays a major role in who goes to university and to which institutions.

The study also found that people’s chances to find work and earn better salaries goes hand in hand with better training and tertiary qualifications.

People with matric earn between 40% and 70% more than those with less schooling. Those with a diploma or certificate earn between 170% and 220% more and those with degrees between 250% and 400% more than those who didn’t finish matric.

The researchers recommended an investigation with regard to how the higher education sector and the college sector can work together.

There must also be greater clarity regarding the target for admissions that the Higher Education Department sets for universities.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.