Youth Unemployment in South Africa: Why have recent labour market policies had little effect on youth unemployment in South Africa?
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South Africa’s unique history has played a significant in its current situation, where its youth, in particular those of the Black population group, battle to access the labour market. Inadequate education for those living in poverty - again predominantly the Black population - result in the youth of this group being caught in a poverty trap. Scholars have extensively studied the circumstances that have caused this. There have been many interventions to try and address the issue, unfortunately with very limited success. In this paper I have attempted to establish whether there is perhaps an underlying mechanism that is impeding the ability of policies such as those already introduced to have an impact. I have done this through applying a theoretical model based on stratification economics. Ultimately I was able to show that the interrelated nature between the micro- and macro-environment is enforcing this persistently high inequality in South Africa, and inhibiting the development of the predominately the Black population group. As a result I argue that policies will continue to have little effect if this unethical stratification is not addressed. There is some evidence that the relatively recently introduced YES programme could help in this regard.