Youth population scenarios: Summary of Phase I theme papers

Research Report. Centre for Poverty Employment and Growth, Human Sciences Research Council

In 2009, the Department of Social Development commissioned the Human Sciences Research Council to produce theme papers on South Africa’s demographic transition, especially the implications of a growing youth population. A key requirement for any country to benefit from the demographic transition is to significantly broaden and deepen opportunities for young people to develop their human capital and participate in the economy. Five thematic issues were identified, and the following theme papers produced:·The youth population of South Africa: A demographic perspective, by Makiwane and Chimere-Dan (2009)· Trends in the educational attainment of South African youth, by Sheppard (2009)· The post-apartheid youth generations: Social dynamics, social cohesion, by Potgieter-Gqubule and Ngcobo (2009)· Is the health status of South African youth improving? by Chimere-Dan and Makiwane (2009)· Youth labour market policy in South Africa: Scope and challenges, by Altman and Potgieter-Gqubule (2009).The theme papers discuss the situation facing the post-apartheid generations of youth, aspects of the policy context, and the major issues that will influence how the demographic transition unfolds over the next decade or so. Altman and Potgieter provide a brief summary of the findings of these papers.