Govt celebrates SA’s youth while denying them freedom to prosper – IRR

Institute says youth unemployment may rise to 60% as result of lockdown

Government celebrates SA’s youth while denying them freedom to prosper – IRR

16 June 2020

South Africa has much to celebrate in the achievements and aspirations of its young people, but there is nothing to celebrate in the struggle of millions of our youth to find the jobs that are the only certain path out of poverty and economic exclusion.

This is one of the most dire consequences of the African National Congress’s ten-year lockdown – a decade of policy failures that has robbed young South Africans of the better prospects they dream of.

The crisis has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 economic lockdown. Joblessness was at record highs heading into the crisis; it is estimated that the unemployment rate will rise to nearly 50% as a result of the lockdown, with some estimates predicting youth unemployment being as high as 60%.

That the majority of young South Africans are unemployed and unable to find jobs is a reflection of the unmet potential and lost talent that are the result of years of government decisions by politicians who’ll never experience the indignity of systemic unemployment and the denial of the right to pursue a better life.

To expose the catastrophic failures of the ANC government over the past decade of economic lockdown and to push for real change, the IRR has launched an international awareness campaign to engage with the most important donor nations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), urging them to use their significant global influence to append constructive conditions to IMF assistance to South Africa.

These conditions should clearly identify, and recommend the abandonment of, the policies and ideological pursuits that have eroded the potential of South Africa’s youth over many years.

Said IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research Hermann Pretorius: “The destruction of secure property rights, racially discriminatory BEE policies that benefit the connected and not the poor, the planned nationalisation of healthcare through the National Health Insurance scheme, never-ending bailouts to failed and failing SOEs, and labour legislation and regulations that have priced young people out of jobs – these policy pursuits of the ANC and its alliance partners in the South African Communist Party have seen the eradication of investment, economic growth, and job opportunities that could have created a skilled, ambitious and prosperous generation of young South Africans.”

Statement issued by Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research, 16 June 2020