Sample Article Review Paper on the State of Youth Unemployment in South Africa


Unemployment among the youths in South Africa (SA) is one of the social-economic challenges the country is experiencing. According to the statistics carried out in 2013, 63 percent of the youth were unemployed. This translates to 3.2 million youths in the modern definition of unemployment that includes those who are not seeking jobs or given up to finding employment. According to the research, 10.2 million population of South Africa are youths. One third of this population is neither in schools, training institutions nor in employment. These individuals are referred to as NEETS. NEETS stands for neither in employment, education nor in tertiary institutions giving a huge figure to individuals who have limited chances to future employment opportunities. This essay will therefore discuss unemployment in South Africa.

Causes of Unemployment in South Africa
Social Economic factors

Many youths are unemployed in South Africa due to lack of education and other skills. They lack basic skills like communication, numeracy, and literacy vital in any labor market. This condition has also been created due to lack of enough experience among the youths. Lack of basic networking platform among the youth is South Africa has also contributed to their lack of employment. Lastly, youths often fail to utilize opportunities at their disposal due to weak social connections.

Lack of Resources

Another factor that has maintained this status quo in South Africa is the lack of resources of financial capabilities among the youths. This hinders them to move from their dominant areas to places with opportunities. In cases of some individuals who can be able to be somehow financially stable, there job terms and conditions stretch far expectations that make them not accept available opportunities due to the differences. Thus, they waste time trying to find out jobs that will suit their preferences. These factors have resulted to youths lacking within the employment field.

Poor National Policies

Lack of basic policies in SA has also contributed to lack of employment among the youths. The policies that exist do encourage the increase in unemployment rates. For example, they do not support formal education or resolve lack of adequate post-school training, poor public employment and deployment programs, and lack of entrepreneurship incorporation and poor job placements.

Supply-Side Policies for Unemployed Youths

Education: As indicated earlier, the problem of unemployment in SA has been largely due to lack of education. To this effect, numerous policy  for funding education have been put in place aiming at reaching many youths to get education in order and secure employment. This has seen even huge sums of budgetary allocations to the education sectors to ensure this goal is achieved.

There has also been a vigorous set up of technical and vocational education training institutions (TVET) supported by the government and the private sector. The main idea behind this initiative is to ensure that the youth get the basic vocational education programs which also aid in the labor market. The labor demand in SA attracts mostly skilled employees. This has led the government to programs that fund employment and skills equipping of the youths and encouraging deployment at the same developing skills thereby increasing chances of future job security.

Community Work Programs (CWP): This initiative was established in 2008 which attracted a huge number of youths under the age of 35 (Department of Cooperative Governance n.p) .The main setbacks for this program was that they did not reflect youth’s aspirations. Additionally, the experience attached to them did not offer much needed qualifications to better employment opportunities nationally.

Public deployment programs: It was made possible through the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).The program aimed at training youths by providing them with skills needed in areas where labor demands were high although it failed.
The National Rural Youth Service Corps: This program aimed at equipping youths with specific skills in a given time period after which they take part in community building. Basic education in entrepreneurship, literacy and numeric skills were taught. It was aimed at growing local economy and its success was felt.
There were also other general programs like sector education and training authorities (SETA) and Employment Services Act was passed in April 2014 that accelerated the rates of employment and employment opportunities among SA youths.
Demand-Side Policies Targeting along Employers

This was also another government initiative, which was to help address the issue of unemployment among the youths in SA. For instance, in 2011, SA national treasury proposed that the state of unemployment was as a result of lack of labor market with regard to the increasing number of youth’s population. This led to the creation of employment subsidy, which concentrated of job creation. This was implemented through the tax system. This initiative was successful in the end and helped address the situation.


I therefore believe unemployment in South Africa is one of the biggest problems the nation is currently facing. This is despite the issue being experienced in other global countries. As a result, I lay blame on the government as it has failed to help and cooperate with other sectors to address the issue. My opinion is based on the belief that, unemployment is a national issue. Thus, private and public sectors as well as civil societies need to help communities by ensuring citizens with basic skills in education and post school training gain employment. Consequently, creative minds can help create and expand job vacancies in the country.


Work Cited

Department of Cooperative Governance. Communities at Work: Community Work Program 2010/2011. Pretoria: Department of Cooperative Governance.