Being young in SA is an extreme sport. Because of the structural nature of unemployment, young people
often find themselves running in circles to find a job, with very little support. The work – and it is work – of getting hired
requires time and resources, both financial and social, that most youth don’t have.
In a survey conducted among about 2,000young people, Youth Capita found that about 40%of them spent up to R500 a month on transport, 42% spent up to R500 on data, and an alarming 84% often had to choose between spending money on job hunting or buying food.
Not only does this mean that the average young South African needs at least R1,000 a month to look for a job, but it also means that job-seeking is not just about creating sustainable livelihoods- it’s about survival. Placing a young person in a position where they have to choose whether to eat or look for work is untenable.
Pearl Pillay is the Managing Director at Youth Lab, a think-tank that aims to create spaces for youth to engage on policy issues. This article, written by Youth Lab’s Pearl Pillay, appeared on the Sunday Times on Sunday 12 June 2022.
Youth Lab is a proud supporter of Youth Capital’s Action Plan.