Today's Labour News

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employment thumb100 Lauren Graham and Leila Patel, researchers at the University of Johannesburg, write that young South Africans spend on average R938 a month looking for work.  

This astronomical cost includes transport at R558 and an additional R380 for internet access, printing, application fees, agent’s fees and even money for bribes.  For the country’s almost 10 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 unemployment sits at 50%.  The data on the cost of looking for work was collected by the Siyakha Youth Assets for Employability Study.  The ongoing study was launched in 2013 to assess whether government programmes designed to help young people was actually making a difference in their efforts to find work.  The study survey involved a sample of 1,986 young people who participated in eight of these programmes at 48 training sites across the country.  The study participants were predominantly African, women and from poor backgrounds.  The average age of the participants when they completed their training programmes was 23.5 years.  A key reason that those surveyed gave for not looking for work was the cost of doing so.  This was because apartheid era spatial planning, in which townships were established far away from economic hubs, continued to affect the ability of people to look for work in a cost effective way.  Also, the study found that 51% of young people lived in households that were classified as severely food insecure.  This meant that households had to make difficult decisions between funding the costs of seeking work and affording basic necessities.

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