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Mr Davids Essay

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Youth Economic Participation

The level of youth economic activity, the value contributed and also the gains derived from the economy by the youth are of critical importance as these are key factors in addressing the various the socio-economic challenges we face as nation post-apartheid. As early as the beginning stages of our South Africa becoming a modern economy under British colonial rule through to apartheid minority rule and eventually the early stages of democracy, youth economic participation has been defined through the pervasive phenomenon of providing their labour to industry in exchange for wages. This can be evident in migration patterns and black youth and particularly Africans, from the countryside to urban centers in search of economic opportunities mainly through wage-employment. It cannot, however, be argued that this was a purely economic phenomenon in that blacks and Africans in particular under British and apartheid colonial rule existed solely for the purpose of supplying cheap labour to white minority monopoly capital and various legislation was promulgated such as the creation of homelands for black people which were effectively reservoirs of cheap labour for the racist capitalist establishment.

However, in the post apartheid South Africa, the paradigm seems to have shifted and the global economic meltdown of the past few years has added much impetus to the gradually changing domestic economic situation. Many domestic industries have suffered huge financial woes due to the shrinking global and experienced other challenges as a result of the policy regimes of the new democratic dispensation i.e labour biased employment legislation, infrastructure development strategies, safety and security. Consequently the percentage of youth employed in these industries has declined significantly of the which means that the youth can no longer rely on wage-employment as form of economic participation. The youth is now compelled develop alternative...

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