Despite all means by the South African government to tackle the rising unemployment rate in the country, research has shown that unemployment still has the upper hand as racial differences and poor schooling from institutions like Rhodes University among other factors has affected students’ employability status.
This was revealed through research findings made by Rhodes University researcher Michael Rogan who found out various factors that is setting back the goal of ending unemployment in the country.
In his report of his finding, Rogan said: It is quite disappointing that socioeconomic factors such as race, gender and poor schooling contributed more to employability than [academic] achievement”
Rogan’s study, which was put forward for discussion at a recent seminar hosted by the Labour Market Intelligence Partnership and the Human Sciences Research Council sought determine reasons why students were being unemployed.
Parts of the determining factors ranged from whether students studied the courses they had originally intended to, the reasons for them being able to complete or failing to complete them and how long it took them to find work after their studies.
The research revealed that 48% of Rhodes University graduates changed their courses, 48% of them attributing their decision to a lack of interest in what they were studying while at Fort Hare, of the graduates who changed their courses, 32% did so because their marks were poor.
Also, about 30% of Rhodes graduates were also said to able to use personal contacts and social and other networks to find work while 36% of Fort Hare graduates relied on newspaper advertisements to find a job.
Speaking to the DA Students’ Organisation (DASO) at the University of Cape Town, Maimane said black South Africans are still being disproportionately withheld from opportunities that most white people take for granted.
“In an urban environment where social interaction across racial, social and cultural divides is more common, it is easy to forget that the vast majority of the unemployed, rural population is black.”
He therefore called for the public sector to look beyond skin colors in employing young south Africans as this will lead to the development of the nation.
Maimane added that job creation is not the end, but the means to overcoming the injustices of the past and building a society in which reward is proportionate to effort.
“I hold the belief that the project of the rainbow nation has not failed, but we must work harder to look past the short handles of skin color and look at who we are,” he added.
Meanwhile, there has been reports of a reduction in the country’s unemployment from what it was in the past two-year yet more is needed to be done by both the state government and the private sector. And as this is done there is need for racism to be kept aside for the benefit of all south Africans and for the country’s economy as well.