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More than half of the young people in SA are unemployed. This is as astonishing as it is pressing. Youth unemployment is double the rate of the adult population and is probably one of the highest in the world. It has been this way since 1994 – and probably before, but there are no comparable statistics from the apartheid era. Even during the period of unprecedented growth of about 5% a year in the mid-2000s, when overall employment grew, youth employment remained stubbornly high. Today, "born-frees" comprise one-fifth of the population, but those who fall into the official definition of youth – aged 15 to 34 – make up about half the population. This should be a demographic dividend, but it has become a liability as young people spend many wasted years between the time they leave school and their first job. In SA, there are added difficulties to finding work, one being geographic location. Looking for work is expensive and time-consuming. The other is the inadequate public education ...

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