South Africa Unemployment

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South African Unemployment

The Republic of South Africa, while certainly taking forever to do so, made monumental leaps with regards to civil rights when in the early 1990s when the government repealed Apartheid legislation and had its first universal elections held in 1994. A quick look at GDP numbers and you would find that South Africa has the largest economy in Africa, and so without delving deep into it one might think that the economy and country have been prospering post Apartheid. After all, more people than ever have access to clean water and electricity and from 1996 to 2010 the proportion of people living on less than two dollars a day fell from 12% to 5%. Unfortunately for South Africans of all races, this prospering has not been the case. The major problem that South Africans have is one of unemployment. Today that unemployment number is up to 25%, and it does not appear to be coming down anytime soon. South Africa’s unemployment problems can be put into a few different categories: education, poor leadership/corruption, and health issues such as HIV and AIDs. According to the Economist, “In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, South Africa ranks 132nd out of 144 countries for its primary education and 143rd for the quality of its science and maths. In the Department of Basic Education’s national literacy and numeracy tests last year, only 15% of 12-year-olds (sixth graders) scored at or above the minimum proficiency on the language test. In maths just 12% did.” While ¾ of white pupils complete high school, only a third of black students do. Part of this problem stems from poor equipment. With only 20% of schools having libraries, and only 7.5% actually having any books, it’s a wonder that there is any educational system in place at all. The economist has a tale saying, “In July textbooks that pupils should have received in January were found tossed into rivers in an effort to hide the failure to deliver them.”...
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