South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

At almost 30% – South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, with the youth [aged 15 – 34] unemployment rate rapidly closing in on 40%. Education, training and innovation will be critical to answer the needs of this and future generations; only radical change will satisfy the preconditions of reduced unemployment rates and a vibrant economy. A steady incubation of SMMEs is required for South Africa’s economy to grow, and a large proportion of these businesses must be started and run by South Africa’s youth. The question is – are they ready to respond to the call?

The vast majority of young South Africans who successfully manage to complete their schooling – leave lacking purpose and life-skills. Purpose is fundamental to living a life of meaning and is a characteristic that moves people to reshape the world and become active participants in determining their own story. It’s also at the very heart of becoming meaningful contributors and participants in the economy. Without these rudimentary skills – young people are a liability to society and limit the development of the active base of the economic pyramid.

There is a pervasive tendency among this group to think and act as victims. Victims rarely create any economic value. Instead they demonstrate behaviour typical of someone with low self-worth, they show little initiative, become passive followers, they’re irresponsible, unassertive and disorganised. Work hours and productivity is impacted by the young employee’s dysfunction and frequent bouts of absenteeism. They become a bad risk to their employer and need intense micromanagement to perform.