As South Africans were insulting one another from the comfort and relative safety of social media (our national pastime now that we can’t bear to watch the embarrassment that is our national soccer team), Statistics SA again published a set of sobering statistics. Another set, equally sobering, was published mid-May. This week the second set of statistics revealed a 2.2% contraction in the GDP in the quarter ended March. The previous quarter had registered promising 3.1% growth. There’s no need to get into the details of this dismal state of affairs. The first piece of statistics I’m concerned about, published on May 15, concerns youth unemployment and is tucked inside the labour force survey. There are 10.3m people in the 15-24 age range. Thirty-two percent of them are not working, not in education and not in training. That’s 3.4m people who are disengaged from the marketplace and the education that should prepare them for a future in which they can contribute to the development of...

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