Youth Day 2020: OPINION: Why a changing world means more trouble for South Africa’s youth.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution takes the automation of manufacturing processes to an unprecedented level, with the introduction of smart, autonomous systems that are capable of self-cognition, self-optimization and self-customization. While these processes present numerous opportunities for producers and manufacturers, it creates a heightened level of uncertainty for policymakers and development practitioners. This is partly due to the new challenges that will arise, especially in terms of employment, educational systems and industrial policies.

The June 16 1976 Uprising that began in Soweto and spread countrywide profoundly changed the socio-political landscape in South Africa, yet 44-year later youth unemployment is still a struggle. The youth   unemployment rate in South Africa is expected to be 70 percent by the end of 2020, as Covid19 puts jobs at risk for about 1.6 million to 2.5 million in South Africa. The International Labour Organization estimates 1.6 billion jobs to be lost because of COVID-19 that could make it even worse for South Africa.

Secondary challenges for youth are the current Education that’s not aligned with the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Future Revolutions and financial exclusion at institutions of higher education and training.

Ultimately, the aim of Industrial revolution awareness for youth and families is to explore the potential impact of Industry 4.0 and digital technologies on developing countries and youth participation in the future job market, given the changing dynamics. The transformative potential of digital technologies is clear and must therefore be properly understood and utilized to take advantage of opportunities, while mitigating the challenges, specifically for the youth.

Youth training Forum to adapt with current and future industrial revolution focusing on Soft skills (uniquely human skills) such as creativity, complex problem-solving, emotional intelligence and critical thinking, which will be irreplaceable by machines; Technical skills ( Computer programming, coding, project management, financial management, mechanical functions, scientific tasks, technology-based skills); Entrepreneurship ( Initiative, innovation, creativity, industriousness, resourcefulness, resilience, ingenuity, curiosity, optimism, risk-taking, courage, business acumen, business execution) needs to be  considered for the empowering of young people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.

There is a general consensus that Socio-economic features in South Africa including structurally high unemployment and income and wealth inequality are longstanding and deeply-entrenched constraints on the country’s growth potential. Deep inequalities – South Africa’s income inequality is among the highest globally, as measured by the Gini index – and resistance to reforms from key stakeholders limit the government’s room to adopt and implement structural reforms.

Adaptive challenges are volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous in nature. Solutions to this type of challenge usually require people to learn new ways of doing things, change their attitudes, values and norms and adopt an experimental mind-set.

South African progress has also been distributed unevenly, both within our demographics such as race, gender and generations. Adding to the problem, however, is the fact that certain sections of the population, often women, children, people with disabilities and majority groups, are systematically left behind.

Reducing poverty, youth unemployment and inequality must be the main objectives of South African private and public leaders.  The 2030 Agenda aims to ‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’ (SDG 1) and to ‘reduce inequality within and among countries’ (SDG 10). The significance of the issues of poverty and inequality is also manifested in the implementation principle of the 2030 Agenda ‘Leave no one behind’ (LNOB). Leaving no youth behind will assist South Africa not to create future unemployment and add to welfare spending to the continuous generated future dependence, a big risk for the nation that needs to be mitigated. The SDG 1 and SDG 10 of the 2030 Agenda and the ‘Leave no one behind’ principle needs to be practically strengthened for the South Africa, in building a developmental state.

South Africa will need to solve it’s intractable challenges to reinstate it’s economic development and growth objectives, through an economic investment collaboration to re-establish mining, agriculture and manufacturing sectors, to reactivate the services industries for a holistic economic development and growth national happiness improvement. Miyelani Mkhabela is an Executive Director at Antswisa Transaction Advisory Services

Related Content

South Africa’s unemployment rate rises to 27,6% in Q1

The number of unemployed persons in South Africa has increased in every first quarter of each year since 2013.

Ramaphosa on tackling youth unemployment

With the elections less than a week to go before elections President Cyril Ramaphosa went into the heart of the business world in Sandton, to talk of two of the biggest issues in this year’s polls – youth unemployment and education.

Anzisha Prize’s Josh Adler on developing entrepreneurship into a career

With the rise of youth unemployment and job scarcity, should we explore entrepreneurship as an alternative? CNBC Africa's Lubabalo Mashiqana spoke to Josh Adler, Executive Director of Anzisha Prize about developing entrepreneurship into a career.

If SA’s finmin Nene goes who will replace him?

Executive Chief Economist at Alexander Forbes Investments Isaah Mhlanga discusses the likely contenders for Nhlanhla Nene should he go.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Land Bank default forces S.Africa’s central bank into $200 mln bailout of state investment arm

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s central bank has issued a 3.45 billion rand ($200 million) guarantee to bail out the Corporation for...

Zimbabwe’s Landela agrees to buy state-owned gold mines, seeks more assets

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s Landela Mining Venture has reached agreements to take over and revive four idle state-owned gold mines and is...

How Zimbabwe farmers will be trained how to farm with a scheme from Belarus with love

When the farm invasions were unleashed by the people in power in 2000, it led to bloodshed and random confiscation that reaped a bitter harvest of lost production and exports that persists until this day. That year with all of its fumbling fury fuelled with the idea that to get rich you merely had to own a farm, is always seen as a turning point for the industry. It created a large slice of the country’s GDP and as it fell, so did the fortunes of Zimbabwe.

South Africa’s National Treasury says “no further action” to bailout SAA airline

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s National Treasury said on Friday there was “no further action” planned to bailout struggling national airline...

Partner Content

Sanlam launches urgent job-preservation initiative in response to COVID-19

Sanlam Investments is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through large-scale support of the recovery of South African companies, from small enterprises to...

Is Market Volatility Here For The Foreseeable Future?

Content provided by CompareForexBrokers Prior to understanding why market volatility might be here to stay for the foreseeable future,...

Trending Now

Morocco’s RAM to axe routes, may reduce fleet to secure aid

RABAT (Reuters) - Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc plans to cancel some air links, cut jobs and may sell 20 aircraft to...

Vedanta’s Zambia copper unit warns part of Nchanga open-pit mine about to collapse

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a unit of diversified miner Vedanta Resources, has closed part of its open-pit mine...

Old Mutual makes acting CEO permanent, a year after sacking predecessor

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Old Mutual said on Friday acting CEO Iain Williamson had been made permanent, ending a year of uncertainty over...

South Africa’s Capitec forecasts 70% profit fall in blow to shares

(Reuters) - Capitec Bank forecast a fall of at least 70% in first-half earnings on Friday due to a spike in bad...
- Advertisement -