South Africans rank unemployment as the country’s most urgent priority, support jobs program for youth

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Continuing a decade-long demand, South Africans rank unemployment as the country’s most important problem that the government urgently needs to address, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

A lack of jobs continues to outrank crime, housing, education, and corruption among citizens’ priorities for government action.

Indeed, a majority of citizens report going without a cash income at least once during the year preceding the survey. Many also experienced shortages of other basic necessities such as clean water, food, medical care, and cooking fuel.

Citizens indicate that they would be willing to pay more taxes to support programs to help young people, the demographic bearing the brunt of the jobs crisis. They say that if the government decided to increase its spending on such programs, job creation should be the highest priority for additional investment.