Mbalo Brief – June 2020

In this month of June, South Africans commemorate the 1976 June 16 uprising when more than 15 000 students in Soweto took to the streets to march against the Bantu education policies. Although the youth of 1976 fought against unequal education and language amongst other issues, the youth of today are faced with a different crisis, that of unemployment. According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), Quarterly Labour Force Survey released on 23 June 2020, the unemployment rate in South Africa has increased to 30,1% in the first quarter of 2020. The unemployment rate has been persistently high over time amongst the youth (aged 15–34 years) being the most affected by joblessness accounting for 63,3% of the total number of unemployed persons. The persistently high youth unemployment rate has long been one of the most pressing socio-economic problems in South Africa. In his speech on 16 June 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned the initiatives that the government has committed to in order to support the youth and eradicate youth unemployment and poverty. These initiatives include the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, the National Youth Service and the National Youth Development Agency. In this month’s issue of Mbalo Brief, our educational article is based on behavioural and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. The aim of the article is to provide an early indication of the behavioural and health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Articles published in this issue are based on results of industry surveys conducted for the months ranging from March to May 2020, such as , manufacturing, Wholesale trade, to name a few. Also find our June crossword puzzle together with the solutions for the May one.

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