Why growing up in South Africa is so hard

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In 2013, Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape, emphasised that the youth are the future and the lifeblood of the province.  She added that the Western Cape Government wants to make sure that by the age of 25 the youth in the province “have all the tools they need to take advantage of their opportunities, and are fully equipped to lead a life they value”.

These are lofty ideals, but in reality, due to a number of factors, the life chances of many young people are blighted. The Western Cape Youth Development Strategy, released in 2013, states that in the absence of positive ways to meet their needs youth will often engage in risky or unhealthy coping strategies like addiction, crime or membership of gangs.

Read: South African youth Aids mortality rate has doubled

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