There is no denying the fact that unemployment is a massive issue in South Africa. The current unemployment rate is sitting at 29% and continues to rise year upon year. The even more terrifying reality is the fact that the country’s youth are the ones who are really feeling the pinch.

The unemployment rate among job seekers aged 24 and below was 55,2% in the 1st quarter of 2019. Furthermore, according to Stats SA, the unemployment rate was 31,0% among graduates in this age group during this period compared to 19,5% in the 4th quarter of 2018 – that’s an increase of 11,4% quarter-on-quarter.

During the June 16th commemoration in Polokwane this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa described the sky-rocketing unemployment rate among the youth in South Africa as “a shame on our country’s conscience”.

“Over the last few months, I travelled the country listening to the voices of our people – young and old, men and women. They took time talking about their frustrations as well as their fears. They shared their many problems and challenges… They told me of their despondency of having to sit at home despite having the [university] degrees or the diplomas because they do not have work experience. These are the stories of the youth around the whole country,” he commented.

Is entrepreneurship the solution?

It would seem that the best possible solution for the youth of South Africa in terms of alleviating the burden of unemployment is through creating their own opportunities. During the same speech, Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of entrepreneurship in our country and how it makes a difference for countless workers, as well as for South Africa’s economy as a whole. He spoke of young, successful entrepreneurs who have managed to innovate their way to a better life.

“These positive stories are a reminder that the flame that burnt among the youth of 1976 has not been lost to the history books. All we have to do as a nation is to turn it up and make that flame brighter and brighter,” he said.

You are never too young to get started or to embrace the pioneering entrepreneur within. Join your High School Entrepreneurs Society today – or register your school to create one!