Approximately 40% of South Africans lived in poverty as of 2009 Approximately 17 million young people under age 18 in South Africa are estimated to be impoverished. 60.5% of South African youth aged 15–24 years old live in low-income households. For youth aged 25–34, the percentage of those living in low-income households was 44%. Poverty disproportionally affects racial groups in South Africa. Approximately 66% of Black African youth and 44% of Coloured youth live in poverty, compared to 16% of Indian youth and 4% of White youth.
About 70% of all South African unemployed persons in 2013 were youth. The 2011 South African census found that people in the youngest age groups (15–19 years and 20–24 years) face the most difficult challenges in the country’s labour market. More than two thirds of youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years old were unemployed according to a 2009 study. Unemployment rates in South Africa generally decline with increasing age. The labour force participation rate is also the lowest for the youngest age groups.
Young people are disproportionately affected by unemployment in South Africa, meaning their unemployment rate is higher compared with other age groups. The young people who do obtain employment are often assisted by personal contacts or networks Black Africans have the highest unemployment rates; whites have the lowest unemployment rates.
South African youth in poverty often look to higher education as a means to a better life. However, access to higher education is often limited for those who are impoverished and from rural areas.
Given that the Black youth often do not have access to these networks and do not receive adequate career guidance or the lack of sewing skills that no longer form part of the School curriculum, and the fact that no sewing services and skills development enterprises on a on a national scale was identified, SSA identified the youth aged 18 – 35 as their target market, with an unlimited reach of 11 million people.
Our market research also emphasized that many of the informal structures will be more viable with the formation of Co-operative, thus, our business model that incorporates the latter structure. We believe that our target market has much potential for Co-operative initiatives and SSA will facilitate the process of registering and implementing the Co-operative program as much and where possible.