Jobs plan should make large cities opportunity centres for more people
An economic-development strategy is needed to provide for young people in rural areas, small towns and townships
The country’s highest rates of unemployment are frequently in places where the spatial legacies of apartheid continue to fester: large rural towns in remote parts of the country, townships in and around big cities. With nearly 40% of SA’s 20-million young people (aged 15-34) not in employment, education or training, it is imperative that bold, countrywide reforms are implemented to generate millions of new jobs for the labour force we have, not the skilled one we wish we had. SA needs a new development strategy based on a firm economic rationale that deals with the young people left behind in rural areas, small towns, townships, as well as secondary cities where future prospects are difficult to determine. There are too many densely settled old homeland areas that are far from urban centres and provide almost no hope for the unemployed. The youth unemployment rate in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, is 73% (78,113 young people) and almost 80% of households depend on grants as their main s...