Just over half of the youth between 21 and 25 were not in education or employment and this was a potentially dangerous situation for the country‚ the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) warned on Tuesday.
“These are the people who are on the streets with nothing to do and this should be addressed‚” IRR head of research Thuthukani Ndebele said on Tuesday at the release of a “Fast Facts” report on South African youth.
The youth in its report are those between 15 and 34‚ and constitute about 40% of the total population.
The report showed that a large percentage of youth were not employed.
“We are seeing worrying trends where the youth constitute a smaller component of the economically active population. The youth are not taking part in the employment sector.”
The report found that close to 40% of African youth were unemployed‚ 28% of coloured youth were unemployed‚ while less than 10% of white youth were unemployed.
While there has been an increase in the number of youth who are attending the country’s public universities in the past few years‚ Ndebele said the main concern was about how many of those enrolled actually finished their courses on time.
He said this could be as a result of the poor primary and secondary education system which produce students who are not ready for university life.
“Government should invest more in primary and secondary education in order to build stronger groups of students who are prepared for university study‚” Ndebele said.
Ndebele suggested that government should create an environment in which the private sector can create more jobs.