Youth unemployment is not a dilemma particular to South Africa. Countries in Europe face the same problem, but the difference is that those who are unemployed elsewhere are largely graduates.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said last week that 40 percent to 50 percent of South Africans aged between 17 and 25 were unemployed. This was a problem other countries also faced, specifically Spain, Portugal, the UK and parts of the US, where almost half of the young population did not have work. But the difference was that unemployed youth in other countries were graduates.
Gordhan, who was speaking on the “Job Opportunities arising from and implications of the Budget for the business community” at a dinner with the Durban business community, said that to tackle this, the government would spend R150 billion on job creation and skills development in South Africa.
The plans included revitalising Further Education and Training colleges, bursaries for students that passed within three years and connecting people to the job market.
The government’s R9bn jobs fund “is a remarkable commitment for a country like South Africa coming out of recession”, Gordhan said.