South Africa, Youth, Unemployment, Government, Policy.

How to Cite



Youth unemployment has bewildered governments across the globe, both in developed and emerging economies countries, with South Africa being no exception. This is captured through the accelerating youth unemployment rate in the country. Considering the positive contributions of excessive youth entrepreneurship policies in other countries, this paper, through the lenses of Schumpeter’s 1934 economic development theory, demonstrates that through entrepreneurship, the South African government should strive to accelerate the already implemented and discard the less effective youth policies. Consequently, creating an innovative environment centered around the youth eradicates the exacerbating percentage of inactive or discouraged youth due to unemployment. Longer spells of inactivity threaten their human development and their contribution to the South African economy. Therefore, a youth-driven entrepreneurship economy can assist the government in counter-solving upcoming and persistent negative effects of unemployed youth. Keeping the youth productive, and innovative, creating jobs and incomes.


Aderibigbe, J.K., Mpondo, L.M., Gcaza, N.I. & Chimucheka, T., 2020. Impact of start-up logistic concerns and lack of business confidence on entrepreneurial intention among some university students in South Africa. Journal of Gender, Information and Development in Africa (JGIDA) 9(1), 89-108.

Anjum, T., Farrukh, M., Heidler, P. & Díaz Tautiva, J.A., 2020. Entrepreneurial intention: Creativity, entrepreneurship, and university support. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 7(1), p.11.

Banerjee, A., Galiani, S., Levinsohn, J., McLaren, Z., & Woolard, I. (2008). Why has unemployment risen in the new South Africa? 1. Economics of Transition, 16(4), 715-740.

Bansal, P., Smith, W. K., & Vaara, E. (2018). New ways of seeing through qualitative research. In (Vol. 61, pp. 1189-1195): Academy of Management Briarcliff Manor, NY.

BBVA open Innovation. (2022, October 11). Latin America's Roadmap to Innovation: the most enterprising cities.

Becker, M. C., & Knudsen, T. (2002). Schumpeter 1911: Farsighted visions on economic development. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 61(2), 387-403.

Ben Hassen, T. (2022). A Transformative State in the Wake of COVID-19: What Is Needed to Enable Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Education in Qatar?. Sustainability, 14(13), 7953.

Blauner, B. (2022). Black lives, white lives: Three decades of race relations in America. Univ of California Press.

BusinessTech. (2023, February 06). Stage 6 load shedding costs South Africa R900 million a day: SARB.

De Lannoy, A., Graham, L., Patel, L., & Leibbrandt, M. (2018). What drives youth unemployment and what interventions help. A Systematic Overview of the Evidence and a Theory of Change. High-level Overview Report.

Dzomonda, O., & Fatoki, O. (2019). The role of institutions of higher learning towards youth entrepreneurship development in South Africa. Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, 25(1), 1-11.

Echezona, M., 2015. Entrepreneurship education as a strategy for the promotion of entrepreneurship culture and poverty reduction among university students. Published (Masters.), University of Fort Hare.

Engineering news. (2023, March 24). How to boost the development of South Africa’s SME sector: lessons from other emerging markets.

False Bay TVET. (2023, February 14). Building resilient entrepreneurs with False Bay TVET College.

Figueroa-Domecq, C., Kimbu, A., de Jong, A. & Williams, A.M., 2020. Sustainability through the tourism entrepreneurship journey: A gender perspective. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, pp.1-24.

Firpo, T. & Beevers, T. (2016, March 11). Up to €152 billion is spent supporting businesses across Europe: does it work.

Fotoyi, A. (2021, March 11). Why South Africa needs more young entrepreneurs.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report 2019/2020. retrieved from

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report 2021/2022. Fostering entrepreneurial ecosystem vitality.

Gulston, G. (2019, March 14). South Africans must ask tough questions about state of our municipalities.

Gupta, P., Chauhan, S., Paul, J. & Jaiswal, M.P., 2020. Social entrepreneurship research: A review and future research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 113, pp.209-229.

Habti, H. (2022, September 19). Why Africa's youth hold the key to its development potential.

ILO. (2022). Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022. ILO.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (2022, June 13). Southeast Asia: The next hub for multinational companies.

Kenrick, D. T., Griskevicius, V., Neuberg, S. L., & Schaller, M. (2010). Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations. Perspectives on psychological science, 5(3), 292-314.

Knowles, J. C., & Behrman, J. R. (2005). The economic returns to investing in youth in developing countries: A review of the literature.

Krafft, C., & Rizk, R. (2021). The promis and peril of youth entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa. International Journal of Manpower.

Krafft, C., Rizk, R., & Krafft, C. (2018). The promise and peril of youth entrepreneurship in MENA. Economic Research Forum Working Paper Series No, (Vol. 1257).

Kraus, S., Breier, M., & Dasí-Rodríguez, S. (2020). The art of crafting a systematic literature review in entrepreneurship research. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 16(3), 1023-1042.

Kritikos, A. S. (2014). Entrepreneurs and their impact on jobs and economic growth. IZA World of Labor. Berlin

Lebambo, M., & Shambare, R. (2020). Entrepreneurship Development Framework for Smallscale Rural Tourism Establishments in South Africa. African J. Hosp. Tour. Leis, 9, 1-19.

Madisa, K. (2021, June 22). Municipalities incur staggering R26bn in irregular expenditure.

Mahadea, D., & Simson, R. (2010). The challenge of" low employment economic growth" in South Africa: 1994-2008. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 13(4), 391-406.

Makaringe, S. C., & Khobai, H. (2018). The effect of unemployment on economic growth in South Africa (1994-2016).

Maziriri, E.T. & Chivandi, A., 2020. Modelling key predictors that stimulate the entrepreneurial performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and poverty reduction: Perspectives from SME managers in an emerging economy. Acta Commercii, 20(1), pp.1-15.

Mazorodze, B. T. (2020). Youth unemployment and murder crimes in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Cogent economics & finance, 8(1), 1799480.

Mbuya, J, Diniso, D, & Maphahlele, A. (2016, September 25-28). Youth Entrepreneurship In South Africa: A Progress Review. Conference: 10th International Business Conference At: Club Mykonos, Cape Town.

Mlondo, N & Dawood Z. (2023, March 2023). State-owned company bailouts have cost ratepayers about R478.5 billion.

Mohamed Shaffril, H. A., Samsuddin, S. F., & Abu Samah, A. (2021). The ABC of systematic literature review: The basic methodological guidance for beginners. Quality & Quantity, 55(4), 1319-1346.

Morris, M.H., Santos, S.C. & Neumeyer, X., 2020. Entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty in developed economies. Business Horizons, 63(3), pp.377-390.

Muftahu, M. (2022). Higher Education and IR 4.0: Embedding Entrepreneurship Education in Malaysian and Nigerian Universities—Developments and Challenges. IJEBD International Journal Of Entrepreneurship And Business Development eISSN 2597-4785 pISSN 2597-4750, 5(5), 888-895.

Munn, Z., Peters, M. D., Stern, C., Tufanaru, C., McArthur, A., & Aromataris, E. (2018). Systematic review or scoping review? Guidance for authors when choosing between a systematic or scoping review approach. BMC medical research methodology, 18(1), 1-7.

Mzungulu, A., & Ndzendze, B. (2021). Alleviating Unemployment in South Africa: Harnessing Comparative Advantage in the Services Sector. The Thinker, 88(3), 18-30.

Ndebele, N. C., Ndlovu, S. G., Mlambo, V. H., & Thusi, X. The Challenges of Youth Entrepreneurship from a Local Government Perspective in South Africa.

New African. (2019, July 21). We long for real change.

Ngila, F. (2023, February 27). South Africa's power blackouts will cost the economy $13 billion this year.

Nor-Aishah, H., Ahmad, N.H. & Thurasamy, R., 2020. Entrepreneurial leadership and sustainable performance of manufacturing SMEs in Malaysia: The contingent role of entrepreneurial bricolage. Sustainability, 12(8), p.3100.

Okunlola, O. C., & Okafor, I. G. (2022). Conflict–poverty relationship in Africa: a disaggregated approach. Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, 34(1), 104-129.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2022, November 22). South Africa projection note OECD Economic Outlook November 2022.

Peters, R., & Naicker, V. (2013). Small medium micro enterprise business goals and government support: A South African case study. South African Journal of Business Management, 44(4), 13-24.

Radebe, T. N., Nkonde, S. D., Mlambo, V. H., & Ndlovu, S. G. (2023). The Role of Higher Educational Institutions towards Entrepreneurship. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 6(11), 285-301.

Rathbone, M. (2020). Understanding business and ethics in the South African context. Van Schaik Publishers.

Rothbard, M. N. (1987). Breaking out of the Walrasian box: the cases of Schumpeter and Hansen. The Review of Austrian Economics, 1(1), 97-108.

Schumpeter, J. (1942). Creative destruction. Capitalism, socialism and democracy, 825, 82-85.

Statistics South Africa 2020. Unemployment rate. Retrieved from

Statistics South Africa 2021. Unemployment rate. Retrieved from

StatsSA. (2022). Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – Q2:2022. StatsSA. Retrieved 20 October 22022 from,5%25%20in%20Q2%3A2022

Xiao, Y., & Watson, M. (2019). Guidance on conducting a systematic literature review. Journal of planning education and research, 39(1), 93-112.

Zwane, H. C., Radebe, T. N., & Mlambo, V. H. (2021). Is Youth Entrepreneurship Key to Addressing Youth Unemployment? Interrogating South Africa’s Youth Unemployment Dilemma. J Soc Sci, 69(1-3), 18-25.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2024 Sbonelo Gift NDLOVU, Thobile N RADEBE, Victor H MLAMBO, Sipho D NKONDE


Download data is not yet available.