Uneducated a time-bomb, Motlanthe says

2011-09-02 19:01

Johannesburg - Uneducated and unskilled youth are a "ticking time-bomb" of pent-up emotions that will explode if not addressed soon, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday.

"We have close to 2.8 million young people between the ages of 18 and 24 that are unemployed, and not in any institution of learning... this important social segment needs to pulled back into economic productivity as soon as possible," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the 16th National Economic Development and Labour Council annual summit in Johannesburg.

He said according to a National Planning Commission report there were extremely high levels of illiteracy and innumeracy in schools throughout the country, and that current growth projections were unsustainable for the economy's future.

"Drastic measures" were needed to build an educated and skilled labour force, he said.

"We need to move beyond social dialogue... I believe that working together as partners we can do more to answer some of these challenges through incrementally building a pool of skills, know-how and knowledge base needed by the South African economy."

  • Schalk - 2011-09-02 19:23

    Step 1: Actively and unanimously denounce the culture of entitlement. Prominent leaders must make it clear that the country owes you nothing if you do not contribute. Step 2: Ruthless accountability in schools. Teachers who cannot score an A for the subject they teach are fired. Teachers who attend union meetings in school times are fired. Principles of consistently poor-performing schools are fired. Step 3: Make teaching attractive (especially maths and science) by increasing salaries and promoting teachers and schools (especially well performing ones) as the heroes of the nation. Step 4: Implement a merit based bursary system. E.g. A-candidates get education for free, B-candidates get 50% and C-candidates 20% off. Step 5: Ensure high standards. If a child cannot pass at reasonable standards he does the grade over and over and over again. There are few things as damaging to an economy as millions of "qualified" people who are hopelessly incompetent. Not really rocket science now is it? All that is required is a spine and some political will to save this country.

  • Denise - 2011-09-04 01:17

    So what's new pussycat!! The Government has clearly lost the plot. The monster the government has created are disengaged, functionally illiterate, innumerate and uneducable youth and now we have an unemployment rate of which Unisa calculates at 45%, the advertising industry's figure is closer to 65%! But the real story is even worse... * We do not have the skills to turn our economy around, * we do not have an education system that can provide us with skilled people in sufficient time, and even if we did, * we do not have the warm bodies of a suitable age to receive that education. While 46% of 21-year-olds were studying in 1996, this dropped to 36% in 2001 and 32% in 2007. In 2007, 508 600 youths did not reach grade 10; and a million left school after completing grade 10. Did they not see this coming? The writing was on the wall in 2001. Clearly we have not only a PEOPLE CRISIS but we have a GOVERNANCE CRISIS! So what is it exactly that they fail to understand? The number of unemployed youths not receiving education or training has increased since 2007... The number will continue to grow each year as more leave school without completing grade 12... resulting in these millions failing to find jobs... or gaining access to universities... and university students dropping out... Wake-up! It's 2011, how long before they realise we need people with skills, who pay taxes & strengthen & enrich society. Ten years later & now they call for 'drastic measures'

      Denise - 2011-09-04 03:18

      Government ’living large’ while citizens feel the pain - The government has wasted nearly R5.5 billion since the DA set up a wasteful expenditure monitor in July 2009. Rands so far lost by the Zuma administration -

  • sipholess - 2011-09-08 16:21

    The big South African bang is a coming. Pack your clothes because everything else is wholesale, wholesale plunder.

  • Freethinker - 2011-09-08 16:47

    Indeed, the ever growing mass of unemployed youth could lead to the destruction of the ANC's grip on power, so it's no wonder that the leaders are becoming concerned. It's what happened in Zimbabwe when the frustrated youth turned away from ZANU-PF and started supporting the MDC. If Julius Malema had the guts to start his own political party, he would probably take all these frustrated young people with him. If he doesn't do it, somebody else will. There is clearly a situation developing that can be politically exploited with great success by the right kind of leader. The youth "want it now", not in 5 years or 10 years' time. Interesting times ahead.

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