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SA’s “born frees” likely to drift into violent protests, says report

By RDM News Wire.

The “born frees”‚ those born after 1990‚ will increasingly become more involved in violent protests and abandon democratic institutions due to continuing political and economic alienation.

A student beats  the statue of Cecil John Rhodes with a stick as it is removed from the University of Cape Town (UCT), April 9, 2015.  The statue at the university, one of Africa's top academic institutions, has been covered up for the past few weeks as both white and black students regularly marched past with #Rhodesmustfall placards calling for its removal. They believe it is a symbol of the racism against blacks that prevails in South Africa two decades after the end of oppressive white-minority rule. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
A student beats the statue of Cecil John Rhodes with a stick as it is removed from the University of Cape Town (UCT). REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

This is according to the South African Institute of Race Relations “Born free but still in chains: South Africa’s first post-apartheid generation” report, which was released in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

According to the report, “unemployment rates are higher among younger people‚ women and Africans”. On the expanded definition of unemployment‚ the rate among African males aged 15 to 24 years is 67% compared with 75% of African females.

Violent protests in SA have almost doubled in the last three years and it is suspected that the economically disenfranchised youth may play a huge part in it.

Born frees are also receiving poor quality education, said the report, with literacy and numeracy scores in Grade 3 in this group barely above 50%. This has a major ripple effect later on as only 51% of matric candidates pass their final school-leaving exam.

The report found that “people aged 14 to 25 years old account for 29% of the country’s prison population”.

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