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It takes a nation to raise a child

Government, business and labour need to come together to reduce youth unemployment.

Driven largely by the student-led #FeesMustFall movement which demands free tertiary education for all eligible South Africans, the largest reallocation of resources towards government’s priorities in the recent national budget was on higher education and training, amounting to additional funding of R57 billion over the medium term.

The objective of this funding, which will be administered under the reinvigorated National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas), is to ultimately reduce the high rate of youth unemployment which continues to weigh on the state. However, while increased funding is a great start, effective education that results in a real reduction in youth unemployment will also require improved government delivery and widespread private sector cooperation.

No one can argue against the need to ensure we have an education system that equips our youth with the skills required to learn, adapt and thrive in today’s rapidly changing world. For an emerging economy such as South Africa, with 47% of our population in the 15 years-or-younger age band, this is even more critical. That being said, it is clear that while a long-term focus on quality education will benefit us, in the short term our economy is missing a critical pillar; that of job creation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the country’s need to strengthen this pillar in the 2018 state of the nation address when he committed to a Jobs Summit within the next few months to align the efforts of every sector and every stakeholder behind the imperative of job creation. This summit is expected to look at what we need to do to ensure our economy grows and becomes more productive, that companies invest on a far greater scale, that workers are better equipped, and that our economic infrastructure is expanded.

In full support of this initiative, corporate South Africa and labour movements will need rise to the call. Government has committed to play their part, but in order to achieve rapid change in our current reality of youth unemployment, the private sector must come to the party as well. 

This responsibility, however, sits in the whole private sector, extending beyond only big businesses. The real power of successful economies lies not in big business, but in the thousands of small businesses at the heart of driving growth. And real power for change, of a problem this vast, will not come from the plans of a few but from many of us as individuals, who are in a position to do so, stepping forward.

Education may be key in building the confidence of our youth to be innovative in tackling our country’s challenges with fresh ideas. However, this will not happen overnight, and as successful business people, entrepreneurs, and even retirees after long careers, we have skills, experience, wisdom and sometimes the financial means to lend a hand – we merely need the will to do so.

Kerrin Land is CEO of Old Mutual Wealth. 


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Government must do its part, the Department of Labour in particular must hold employers responsible. I spent the last 8 months travelling across South Africa, everywhere I went in these hospitality establishments, bars, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, even car rental places, there are so many foreigners, including illegals working, I can estimate that in 100% of the establishments 60 -70% of employees and or persons who attended to me are not South African. Where is DOL (Dept of Labour), it is it’s job to ensure that employers comply with established laws and that those who don’t face serious consequences. In the US where I work in a government entity, such employers would face the music. Each employer is responsible that all people they employ are verified. Business is aiding and abetting illegal acts and contributing to the problem, they must be held to account. They must submit their reports each year without fail, that’s how you are going to ensure that they employ the right people, at present they are skimping on the law and saving of salaries.

This is the result of over-regulating. There is a loophole in the requirement for Employment Equity: it does not state South African first, merely previously disadvantaged first. Unfortunately, many South Africans simply do not have the work ethics of foreigners, and if given the choice to maintain high service levels with foreigners and keep your doors open, or mediocre service levels with locals and run the risk of not surviving, it’s not so clear-cut anymore. Our government realises this, and would rather see black Africans in positions than white South Africans, hence turning a blind eye. Maybe it’s time again to simply employ the best person in the job, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation (and even nationality), and government should concern itself about equipping people to be best suited for a competitive world.

Let me reiterate, we have laws in this country, and it is the duty of the government to act like a government, not a charity organization. The department of home affairs and Sars as regulators of our entry points, must not allow every Tom, Dick and Harry to enter this country. People who overstay their welcome and their visas, should be charged, imprisoned and expelled rather than being given five-star hotel accomodation and red carpet welcome. It is the duty of a government to protect its bothers from enemies both domestic and foreign. And if it is the attitude of the employers in South Africa that they will be complicit with law breakers, the government must be prepared to charge them and lock them up along with their minnions. All government departments have a duty of care in this regard. The current trajetory of choas is not sustainable. Period. No more excuses.

In the USA you have jobs that are shunned by Americans, done mostly by latinos and there are various reasons as to why but mostly because its low paying

The same is true for South Africa. A waiter in a restaurant in Johannesburg can earn on tips and perhaps including a basic, earn up 10,000.00+/pm

They are punctual, polite and quick to please. Its not difference for the “garden helpers”, car washers or hawkers selling at traffic lights

The effort to be rewarded a livable salary is high, the same for the lationos who take on those jobs the average American does not want to do

Its a scenario playing out globally

First of all i said, the people are in the country illegally. So, if you are such a law abiding citizen why are you aiding and abetting the breaking of the law. That is the point am making about this whole thing. Then if you chose to aid and abet outsiders to break certain laws, that should be enforced with your cooperation, why are you complaining when everybody else breaks other laws, like breaking into your home to find the food or shelter. This is a slippery slope. Globalization aside, there is no country in the world, under any of the international agreements that I have read, that is required by force of of law to take in economic immigrants. None, zilch zero. In the US you refer to, I have lived there for a good 20 years, we e-verify and if we should find an employer engaging in these illegal acts we levy them a heavy fine. Now, are there mom and pop still hiring foreigners for low wages and so forth, of course, after all there are 12 million illegals here. The other point am making, which seems to be missed, is that South Africa must enforce its own laws, without shame or favour. There are many illegals in South Africa, from every corner of the world, its funny every one seems to think am referring to Africans, hence the ‘disavantaged’ comment. There are over 600 000 to a 1000 000 (a million) Brits who are in South Africa at any point in time, do you want to tell me they are all legally here? Not a chance.

Did you ever ask yourself why the people are not South African?

Because the vast majority are illegally in the country, and are willing to accept low pay, and have no legal recourse in the event of issues with the employer

It takes 2 parents to raise a child. This country is full of single moms that get ZERO child support and the kid grows up outside the home. That’s where the problems begin. I come from Chicago (The MURDER capital of America.) Why are these minority kids killing themselves? BECAUSE there is no father in the family to issue discipline. You have this socialist society creating “baby mama’s” that don’t work and live off the state! A form of financial SLAVERY! Look at the jails in America and you can see what the Hell is going on. This is your socialist agenda at work and another main cause—POOR EDUCATION!!! C’mon South Africa can’t you learn by other countries mistakes?? Finally we have an educated man @ the helm. Boy did the last guy show his illiteracy! Make South Africa GREAT again !!!!

Wait, are you talking about poor black ‘baby-mama’ in the slams? With children from a tribal “husband”, who paid a lobola for her and expected her to work as a maid and bring home the cash, then got bored and decided to skedaddle? Do you know the rate of abandonment in SA among the blacks?

You think she’s living off in luxury on R900 per month??? Stop comparing us to America, we’re nowhere near a that developed. Apples to oranges!

What do you think the baby mama’s are living on??? The kids are uneducated or under-educated and how does that benefit society?? All be it the ground work is THE SAME! They expect working people to furnish “A” lifestyle.
P.S. You never lives there and don’t know the inner workings of what has happened to inner cities over the past 40 years. Stick to reading snippets in the FAKE NEWS !

It is fair to compare to USA as they had the same problem 50 odd years ago with social grants and creating a culture of dependency and laziness among some of the lower income groups is the US. They are still struggling with the repercussions of those actions today.

Parents and children are the most important parties to make this work. The truth is that many people are unemployable. And unless parents and children work together, government and business efforts will be in vain.

The government should:

Start doing.

Stop talking.

Restore the education system. Employee more teachers. Fire lazy and incompetent ones.

Make it easier to employ people, e.g. UIF regulation.

Make it easier to fire people.

And keep politics out of it.

Guvmnt just needs to get completely outa the way. Guvmunt is the major cause of the problem Fullstop

The problem with our business “leaders” is that they lack the personal courage to speak out honestly on these matters, and instead hide behind politically correct waffle that does NOTHING to confront the root causes of the societal problems SA faces.

And so it is with this article by Kerrin Land.

You can be as bright as a button – and Land certainly is – but intelligence counts for little if it’s not allied with a strong dose of personal courage to face up to the reality of what has NOT been working.

And what hasn’t been working, Kerrin Land, is in fact the popularly-proclaimed panacea for all social ills, “education” – which instead has been a money-pit that has absorbed BILLIONS of Rands over DECADES of effort.

And the results of all this effort? Utterly UNDERWHELMING!

Why does education CONTINUALLY fail to deliver?

In the politically-correct view, it’s simply because the effort so far has been “not enough”. And the “solution” therefore is to pour even more money (down the drain!), and to exhibit INFINITE patience to wait longer for the “promised” results to materialize.

There has been plenty enough time for this “education” to at least show that it has the promise to deliver at least “some” movement of the needle. But there is NOTHING to excite one here about the actually delivered results. In fact, the situation is getting steadily WORSE, not better.

Education is NOT the foundation stone for a better society.

The foundation of a society BEGINS with a strong, loving, nuclear family. And THEN education gains traction. It’s not the other way round.

And THAT is THE PROBLEM in SA society, Land. Those segments of our society that are flourishing are doing so BECAUSE of their strong family values. And on the other hand, those segments that are languishing and falling behind, are doing so PRECISELY because of the LACK of family values.

The “outcome” from decades of poor family values is a growing underclass of children of lower intelligence. And strong’ close-knit nuclear families tend to produce children of higher intelligence.

NOBODY wants to admit to this, but this is the key problem.

This has huge ramifications for the future of our country. And is seen in the increasing number of people sitting on the sides of the road each morning waiting for casual jobs that never come. Or resorting to crime or social mayhem.

This is a GROWING problem. And it needs HEAD-ON confrontation. By politicians. And Business Leaders. But that will take courage. REAL courage – which I’m not seeing when I read facile articles like this.

If Kerrin Land wants to make a real impact (and she is certainly in a real position to do so), then she can put her actuarial training to good use and task one of her junior actuaries to collate a representative sample of the IQ-test scores from the schools (of all types and demographics) and correlate these against the academic results; the types of families they came from; and the subsequent career progress of the pupils (Left school early? Became criminally deliquent? Repeated the same family cycle with their own children? Became an academic or business star? etc).

I’ll put money on what those results would show. And I’ll bet further that the results will not be vague and indistinct. They would be UNEQUIVOCAL.

So the question for Kerrin Land and Old Mutual then becomes: If that is now proven to be the case, will you get behind a practical scheme that will have real impact to promote strong families???

Please let me know.

Oh I agree Jonnox; but look at our “leaders”. How many are divorced, have had well-publicised affairs, polygamists (ha ha), been dishonest right under our noses, and keep being dishonest etc. None have shown much shame and I cannot think of one that has resigned. Most go on to promotion in fact.

They are unlikely to do anything about morals anytime soon.

Firstly, it takes a loving family to bring up a child.

Firstly, it takes a loving family to bring up a child.

Secondly an enabling environment (National, Provincial, Local, Community and other) certainly helps.

Under the ANC’s leadership, we have seen an ever-increasing weakening of both.

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