As a developing country, South Africa currently faces some of the highest levels of unemployment and inequality which hold us back from achieving what we are capable of as a nation. Until these challenges are deliberately addressed, we will continue to face low levels of GDP growth and lower average standards of living for the general citizen.
Our unemployment rate is currently estimated to be sitting at 29.1% and projected to increase to 35.3% by December 2020 (IMF) due to the impact of COVID-19. Of greater concern though is the youth unemployment rate, which is estimated to be 53.1%.
The unemployment problem in our country is exacerbated by the low levels of education in our country and the lack of jobs in the corporate sector, as well as low levels of entrepreneurship. This has been a personal concern for me as it is clear that there is a lot of youth that are looking for jobs which are not there, and yet, we keep encouraging them to go to school to find jobs and wonder why we have educated graduates who do not have jobs.
This is why I believe entrepreneurship is the key to solving some of these problems. With so many problems that we face as a country, these are actually opportunities for some people to come up with novel ways of solving them whilst getting paid to do so. It is therefore very important for all of us to encourage our youths to learn about starting their own business as soon as possible instead of hoping to be employed.
I have made it a personal and professional mission of mine to help as many youth pursue the right subjects and skills in school that are aligned to becoming a great entrepreneur such as problem-solving and critical thinking, encouraging them to study subjects like computer science which will be in demand in future as well as providing early-stage start-ups with the knowledge and skills that they need to grow their businesses and succeed.
I believe that this is our best chance of growing the entrepreneurship landscape in southern Africa, which will eventually lead to the creation of more jobs and hopefully have a positive impact on reducing our unemployment and inequality levels whilst growing the economy.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Business information systems from UKZN, B com Honours in business informatics from Unisa. At Deloitte, Ndumiso leads the Digital Venturing initiative which is designed to help Deloitte respond to disruption and innovation more effectively through partnerships with technology-led startups. He previously worked for organizations such as Accenture, Hollard Insurance, Absa, FNB, and more. Check Ndumiso’s latest work profile on work and you can follow or connect with him on Linkedin.