Johannesburg – The government’s 30% pass rate at school level is why many students fail at universities, the SA Institute of Race Relations said on Tuesday.Government needed to invest more in primary and secondary education to ensure the success of young people at university level, IRR research analyst Unathi Matwase said.The 30% pass rate was not challenging enough, she said at the release of an IRR report, A powder keg in our midst: South Africa’s youth."The problem is at the bottom, there is a 30% pass rate required for youth at school level, but when they get to varsity that does not count," she said.Matwase said South African youth, defined as people aged 18 to 34, made up 40% of the country’s population.What was of great concern was that 44% of this group was not in employment or in education and training. Another concern was that of all black matrics in 2015, only 20.6% passed, compared to 98.8% of whites. More than two-thirds (67.6%) of young blacks aged between 15 to 24 were unemployed.Poorer schools were less likely to do well in mathematics and science than schools with more money.11.3% of pupils enrolled in Grade 10 in 2013 passed maths in matric in 2015. The low pass rate at school level was responsible for high youth unemployment in the country.The number of young people with jobs increased by only 13.4% in 2015, when compared to the previous year. The figure for the total population was 25.3%."Given the high employment level issues, this could possibly lead to high criminal behaviour," she said.It was estimated that between 60% and 90% of the perpetrators of violent and property-related crimes in South Africa were youths. Unemployment, job creation, and poverty remained the greatest concerns among young people.