Key Points:

  • Youth unemployment is a national crisis involving millions of South Africans. This affects cities, towns, townships and regions in different ways, and thinking about what should be done will need local solutions within a much more accommodating national framework.
  • South African metros with high growth potential: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and eThekwini, national and provincial policies should prioritise economic growth and the generation of many more economic opportunities (especially accessible formal sector jobs) for young people.
  • Municipalities should encourage the creation of new firms and attract new investments by building a business-friendly environment in their towns or cities, as well as in surrounding areas.
  • There can be no more damning indictment of existing policy with its emphasis on high wage, high skill jobs. It has failed dismally. South Africa needs millions of new jobs for the workforce we actually have, not the workforce we wish we had.
  • Achieving faster, more labour-intensive growth would transform South African society and its prospects: it would increase employment (the key to social and economic inclusion), reduce poverty, expand tax revenue and make possible the fulfilment of the promises to which we have committed ourselves in the Constitution
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