The statistics on youth unemployment in SA are staggering: young people make up 36% of our population, yet more than 50% of those younger than 24 are unemployed. It means more than 6- million young people are not in education, employment or training. Immense suffering lies behind those statistics. Apart from the grim physical realities of unemployment and poverty, there is a profound psychological dimension. A sense of freedom and independence is basic to someone’s self-respect and dignity. Not having a job is humiliating. Not having a realistic prospect of getting a job is devastating — especially for young people. It destroys hope, the sense that there is something to live for and that there is a possibility of a better future. In the words of the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, it leaves people with a feeling of "futurelessness". In SA, youth unemployment is a time bomb. Desperate, unemployed and without skills, many young people turn to crime to survive. And unemployment creates fer...

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