Understanding Youth Unemployment and Social Inclusion in South Africa


  • Busani Ngcaweni University of Johannesburg




Social cohesion, youth unemployment, marginalisation, socio-economic conditions


This paper discusses the relationship between youth unemployment and social cohesion by attempting to answer two questions: Firstly, why is it important for South Africa to take into consideration youth unemployment as a hindrance to social cohesion? And, secondly, do such considerations necessitate more holistic and context-specific policies or strategies in synchronising social cohesion initiatives with youth development policies? The paper’s preliminary hypothesis is that there is a strong correlation between high levels of youth unemployment and low levels of social cohesion in South Africa and that improvements in the level of cohesiveness require high levels of inclusiveness within the socioeconomic structures of a country, notably in the economy. The secondary hypothesis is that for South Africa to achieve sustained social inclusion, it is imperative that holistic and context-specific strategies are implemented. It is through context-specific youth development policies that accelerated socioeconomic inclusion can be achieved.


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How to Cite

Ngcaweni, Busani. 2017. “Understanding Youth Unemployment and Social Inclusion in South Africa”. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies 46 (2):1-28. https://doi.org/10.25159/0304-615X/1502.



Received 2016-09-09
Accepted 2016-09-10
Published 2017-10-26