Essay about Problems Young South Africans Face

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Inequality, poverty, and unemployment are known as interdependent socio-economic phenomena, which are labeled the 'triple challenge' of young people in South Africa. It is to them that I am going to give my attention in this essay, as well as how they affect the daily life of the latter.

Poverty is one and probably the main problem that young people in South Africa continue to face. The biggest reason for this is the lack of access to work. In 1999, the rural African labor force that was unemployed was over 51%, while Africans in urban areas were 43%, and according to Stats SA, the situation is only getting worse every year. Rural poverty is however aggravated by lack of access to productive resources. Lack of quality education is the second greatest cause of poverty in South Africa.

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Poverty is impacting young South Africans badly in terms of negative conditions such as homelessness, food insecurity, substandard housing, inadequate care and inadequate nutrition, and lack of access to health care. The growing generation will be of low literacy, which affects economic growth negatively.

Unemployment is another problem affecting the lives of young South Africans. According to Stats SA, South Africa's unemployment rate during 2013 was 24.1% and is confirmed to be increasing, reaching 32.6% during the first quarter of 2021. Many economists are saying that unemployment increases when the supply of labor overtakes the demand for it. The percentage of uneducated young people is very high due to historically low investments in education and persistent challenges to education. Another thing is that South Africa has slow economic growth, leaving many people out of work. High unemployment is a major factor behind the level of inequality.

Individually, unemployment can lead to psychological distress, which can lead to a decline in life satisfaction. This can lead to substance abuse among young people, resulting in sicknesses and weakness for a person to do a job. There are also negative impacts on long-run economic growth. Unemployment wastes resources, generates redistributive pressures and distortions, increases poverty, limits labor mobility, and promotes social unrest and conflict. Like what is happening in South Africa right now, people, mostly young people, are looting, they are breaking properties for their own needs (food and clothes), but they are doing it in the name of former President Jacob Zuma.

And finally, I want to consider the problem of inequality. The most common inequality that young people in South Africa are facing is income inequality. Inequality of all sorts characterizes access to income in South Africa. The unemployed need to move into higher-wage jobs for the impact on reducing inequality to be substantial. As noted earlier, high unemployment is a major factor behind the inequality levels. South Africa's unemployment rate is crucially higher than in other emerging markets, with youth unemployment exceeding 50 percent. At workplaces, we find inequality being practiced.

Inequality leads to higher rates of health and social problems, as well as lower rates of social goods, lower levels of population-wide satisfaction and happiness, and even lower levels of economic growth when human capital is neglected for high-end consumption. At the microeconomic level, inequality can increase ill health and health spending, as well as reduce the educational performance of the poor or those who are not working. These two factors can also lead to a reduction in the productive potential of the young workforce. At the macroeconomic level, inequality can be a brake on growth and can lead to instability.

In summary, inequality, poverty, and unemployment are precisely what the youth of South Africa deal with daily, and what prevents them from achieving well-being in all its forms.

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Essay about Problems Young South Africans Face. (2024, January 30). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
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