Jobs, education top youth challenges

7 June 2012

Young South Africans are most concerned about unemployment and education, a national survey released on Monday has found.

Consumer insights company Pondering Panda said the survey was done to test reaction to development problems identified by the National Planning Commission (NPC) earlier this year.

“The survey was to gauge the reaction of South Africa’s youth between the ages of 15 and 34 years old to the questions facing South Africa,” said Shirley Wakefield from Pondering Panda.

She said 5 814 respondents were interviewed using mobile phones and that the results were representative of the national population in the relevant age groups.

Unemployment and education were identified as being of significantly higher importance than any other problems, irrespective of age, gender or race. About two-thirds of respondents chose them as the country’s most pressing problems.

The survey also showed that education was more important to younger respondents, while unemployment became more important as the respondents’ ages increased.

Health and medical care were of major importance to 36% of respondents. Transport was the least important issue, with only eight percent of respondents identifying it as a problem.

“These results should be noted by our national government, as they provide a very clear picture of where South Africa’s youth feel the government should prioritise their strategic efforts,” said Wakefield.

It was important to note that the concern of the youth about the future was felt across all demographic groups, she said.

The aim was to reach and engage with a youth audience which do not have easy access to traditional computers and the internet.

The NPC created a portal on Mxit in April and the survey was conducted from 11 to 14 May. Over 50,000 people had since interacted with the NPC service on Mxit.

Sapa