Barriers Faced by Underprivileged Youth in South Africa: A Look at the Statistics

19 March 2023

South Africa is a country with significant economic, social, and political inequalities.
Unfortunately, underprivileged youth in South Africa are still facing significant barriers in
accessing quality education, healthcare, and basic needs such as food and housing. Let's
take a closer look at the statistics behind these barriers.

According to a report by Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate for youth aged 15-24
was at an alarming 63.3% in the first quarter of 2021. This high rate of unemployment can
be attributed to a lack of education and training, which can be particularly challenging for
underprivileged youth who may not have access to quality education.

Furthermore, the National Income Dynamics Study revealed that 53.8% of children under the
age of 17 in South Africa live below the poverty line. This poverty can lead to a lack of access
to basic needs such as food and housing, which can impact a child's ability to learn and thrive.

Access to healthcare is also a significant issue for underprivileged youth in South Africa.
According to UNICEF, the child mortality rate in South Africa is 29.5 per 1,000 live births,
which is significantly higher than the global average of 18.2. Additionally, many underprivileged
youth struggle to access basic healthcare services due to a lack of financial resources or transportation.

Housing is another critical issue facing underprivileged youth in South Africa. According to
the 2019 General Household Survey, approximately 13% of households in South Africa lived
in informal settlements or shacks. These living conditions can have a negative impact on a
child's health and safety and limit their ability to learn and thrive.

Finally, access to technology and digital resources is also a significant barrier for
underprivileged youth in South Africa. According to the South African Network Society Survey,
only 54% of South Africans have access to the internet, with the majority of users
being in urban areas. This lack of access to technology can limit a child's ability to learn,
communicate, and access information.

Overall, the statistics paint a bleak picture of the barriers faced by underprivileged youth in
South Africa. Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort by the government,
non-profit organizations, such as Mina Thina Childrens Foundation, and the private sector to provide support
and resources to those who need it most. By taking action to
address these barriers, we can create a more equitable and just society in South Africa where
all young people have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.