Urban Youth Unemployment in South Africa: Socio-Economic and Political Problems

Keywords: socio-political-economic problems, ticking bomb, unemployment, urban youth unemployment


This article explores the socio-economic and political problems relating to urban youth unemployment (UYU) in South Africa. The high UYU has become a big challenge and a key issue of debate in contemporary South Africa. With the increasing number of unemployed university graduates, youth unemployment calls for urgent attention. The researcher used a qualitative research methodology for the study, and conducted semi-structured interviews to collect data. Primary data collection was carried out in an online environment using the SurveyMonkey software program. In addition, empirical evidence was gathered from secondary sources. The findings show that UYU is increasing and has become a crisis. Currently, the rate of unemployment is 26.7 per cent, but youth unemployment is around 52 per cent. UYU in South Africa is a “ticking bomb†and is likely to explode in the face of South Africa’s leadership if the problem goes unattended. The article recommends that strategies, such as revamping South Africa’s educational system, creating jobs, developing the skills of the youth, and facilitating youth entrepreneurship, could be used to stem the problem of UYU.