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South Africa’s Youth Bulge: Risk or Opportunity?

Author: Itha Taljaard
Organisation: FUTUREtakes Vol. 7, No. 1
Publish Date: 2008
Country: South Africa
Sector: Education
Theme: Youth
Type: Journal
Language: English
Tags: South Africa, Youth, Youth Bulge, education, employment

In South Africa the apartheid and colonial legacies remain a reality and exhibit the living conditions of most South Africans. Poverty is high (approximately 50% living on less than $61 p/m, 2006) and inequality pervades, with South Africa being notorious world-wide for one of the highest gini coefficients of 57.8% (UNDP, 2005). High levels of unemployment exist (40.7%, 2004, broad definition), spatial development is uneven, and the health and education system is failing most citizens. South Africa ranks 121st in the UNDP’s human development index (HDI) (2007). These realities point to a future whose prospects depend on whether risks are ameliorated and demographic opportunities are maximized.
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