How can graduates better their chances of employment in the South African job market?

Analysis in Brief | Youth unemployment affects South Africa’s economic and social development. Young people need to be innovative in finding employment opportunities. Community service is an effective means to providing relevant workplace experience and improving personal skills to better chances of gaining relevant employment.

Key points:

  • In 2016, youth unemployment in South Africa stood at 51%, which ranks 4th globally
  • Gaining work experience in a competitive job market is difficult for young people who lack experience and practical skills
  • Community work offers a way for graduates and students to improve their chances of permanent employment, while assisting their community in a positive way

In On Africa (IOA) is currently working to expedite and encourage positive changes in South Africa’s youth sector by focusing on youth unemployment with several companies, organisations and individuals. Voices Unite is IOA’s upcoming initiative that seeks to offer South Africa’s youth a platform to voice their concerns, ideas and experiences and to utilise those insights in informing the way forward. As a preface to this initiative, a pilot study, with more than 1,400 respondents across South Africa, was implemented by IOA and Columinate, a research partner. In this pilot study, respondents were asked to indicate what issues/topics were constantly on their mind: first was crime; second, corruption; and the third important issue to them was unemployment (selected by 65% of youth respondents).

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Assessing the role of nuclear in South Africa’s energy strategy

Over the last three decades, nuclear power has faced various challenges toward worldwide implementation. The Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters in the 1970s, 80s and 2010s, respectively, have setback the rollout of further plants around the world, from China to the US. At present, South Africa is the only African country to make use of nuclear power as part of its energy mix. The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in the Western Cape province provides close to 1,900 MW of power to the central grid, accounting for 5% of total power generation in the country, and 95% of energy generation in the Western Cape.

The South African government has, however, made strides toward increasing the share that nuclear power plays in the country’s electricity generation and has set bold targets of adding an additional 9,6 GW of nuclear energy in the next 15 years. The costs of this additional power have been a big challenge, indicates IOA consultant and professor of political science at UNISA, Jo-Ansie van Wyk. “Typically, a nuclear energy expansion plan such as this requires a long-term relationship and not just a once-off delivery once the power station is operational. A third factor is the preferences of the South African population. Civil society has opposed the nuclear expansion plans and government has seen that civil society will question every decision,” she says.


Jo-Ansie van Wyk is a Professor at UNISA’s Department of Political Science and has been a member of the In On Africa (IOA) team since 2008. Her publications and research experience focus on political leadership in Africa, nuclear diplomacy and energy, environmental politics, and international security.


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Powering Africa into the future

Examining Africa’s energy landscape today, for tomorrow

African countries face a multitude of challenges in providing sufficient and affordable power access. Generation plants, transmission and distribution infrastructure and retail-facing entities, are all needed to realise the larger rollout of electricity across the continent. Considering different energy sources for different markets is also paramount in utilising available resources to their maximum potential; from coal in South Africa and Botswana, to hydropower in Ethiopia and Kenya, and solar power in Morocco.

IOA’s latest special report, in partnership with POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa, provides insights on key topics such as sustainable energy market initiatives, renewable energy implementation, the impacts of the digital technology revolution and the prospects for South Africa’s nuclear build programme, among others.

IOA at a glance

Over the past decade, In On Africa (IOA) has positioned itself as one of the top research, intelligence and publishing firms in and focused exclusively on Africa. The company works with a wide array of clients across the African continent through its complementary divisions, service offerings and insight-driven products.

The infographic provides a snapshot of IOA – its core offerings, mission, values, vision and key differentiators.