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SOUTH AFRICAS YOUTH Reflecting back on the tragedy that just occurred at Columbine High School in Denver Colorado and the generalizations being made about the US youth and the crisis that we are in and supposedly are experiencing I decided to research the youth crisis in South Africa There is at present no youth crisis as such However young people find themselves in the midst of a range of crises that should be addressed urgently by the state and society South African youths as a category refers to South Africans between 15 and 30 years of age they constitute 295 of the population yet there is no comprehensive youth policy in place to attend to their needs Most young people share common values of society - signs of radicalism and militarism are found in only a minority of youth Only a small percentage of South Africas youth can be considered truly marginalized as the countrys youth as a whole and therefore cannot be called a lost generation Thirty-seven per cent of South Africa population were below the age of 15 in 1991 It can be compared with the average of 40 for similar countries in the world less-developed countries averaging 44 and industrialized countries 23 The composition of people between 15 and 30 years comprised 295 of South Africas population Figures for racial categories indicate a total of approximately 83 million 75 black 14 m 12 white 11 m 10 colored and 300 000 3 Asian youths in this group There are many problems for the South African Youth and some of the most challenging problems include family and community instability that leads to a wide range of other social problems for youth The black family has been under enormous strain partly because of an education system that is not providing all youth with relevant and quality education Economic stagnation together with inadequate education has resulted in high levels of unemployment
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