Ntokozo Mthembu (2019) The narratives of young black Africans in a labour reserve in South Africa

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal



The aim of this article is to present the findings of a study about the youth’s experiences in relation to the available means of securing a livelihood. This is done by exploring the concept of a corporate social responsibility development framework, as suggested by Voiculescu (2014). Data were collected from a sample of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 years, by means of in-depth and focus group interviews. Theoretical thematic analysis was applied to interpret the findings. The participants’ narratives revealed the impact of coloniality and the challenges youths face in securing a livelihood. The findings revealed that the impact of capitalism contributes to young people adopting delinquent behaviour, or aggravates their failure to fulfil their aspirations in life. The findings also suggest that participants identified other factors that prohibit their ability to secure their livelihood,including lack of access to natural resources. All of these exacerbate the difficulties youth face in their daily lives, which lead some to be idle or to participate in informal trade to make a living. Furthermore, labour market constraints, such as high unemployment rates, make young people vulnerable and discourage them. The present study provides a baseline analysis of the scope of the challenges confronting unemployed youth in South Africa.

Keywords: alternative strategies; labour reserve; social change; vulnerability; youth

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