Hunger suffered by youth in SA growing at rapid rate

Stats SA says the Eastern & Northern Cape showed the largest increase in hunger involving youths.

Lavona Carstens enjoys a rarity in her life: Toasted cheese sandwich. After paying the bills for her 21-strong family in Mitchells Plain, she seldom has any money to spend on food other than plain bread. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Statistics South Africa says hunger suffered by youths in households increased from 13.5 percent in 2010, to 16. 2 percent in 2014.

Officials released a report yesterday, analysing the socio-economic and demographic profile of the youth.

It focused on various aspects including employment education and access to housing and other basic services.

Stats SA says the Eastern and Northern Cape showed the largest increase in hunger involving youths.

Statistician general Pali Lehohla says this contributes to findings that youth are the most involved in criminal activity.

"When you look at crime, the youth is more involved in acts of criminality, be property or burglary. And of course when you look at hunger the youth bear the brunt of hunger."

The reports also illustrates that the proportion of economically active youths declined over the past five years.

The share of the youths among the employed decreased from about 47 percent in 2009, to just under 40 percent in 2014.

CREATE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH

Stats SA says provinces including the Eastern Cape and Limpopo need to start creating opportunities for the youth so that they don't lose young people to other provinces.

A report was released earlier today, analysing the socio-economic and demographic profile of the youth in the country, focusing on various aspects including employment, education and access to housing and other basic services.

The organisation says between 2009 and 2014, Gauteng is the province that received the largest proportion of youths, from provinces including Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Free State.

The Western Cape received youths from the Eastern and Northern Cape.

Lehohla says "I think what needs to be done is to weave an intelligent system that allows for optimisation of that movement, that yields better life outcomes for whoever where the youth moves."

Lehohla attributed the moves to these two provinces to young people wanting to better their lives by seeking opportunities through better higher education and employment.