Leave No Youth Behind: A Basic Package of Support for Young People in South Africa

This project builds on earlier work, led by UCT’s Poverty & Inequality Initiative and SALDRU in 2017 in partnership with a coalition of partners in government, academia and civil society, to conceptualise a more comprehensive approach to support South Africa’s youth.

Research indicates that the majority of the country’s youth are facing significant challenges across multiple dimensions of deprivation, and that their vulnerabilities are especially stark as they transition through adolescence and into adulthood. During this life stage, large proportions of young people are unable to connect to educational opportunities or the labour market and thus become ‘invisible’ to the administrative systems. At that point, they are ‘NEET’ (not in any kind of employment, education or training), leaving them at risk of longer-term economic and social exclusion.

These young people’s challenges need to be addressed better, more inclusively and responsively.

Phase 1: Designing a Basic Package of Support for young people who are NEET
In 2019, a consortium of academic, governmental and non-governmental partners embarked on
defining and designing a more comprehensive and integrated approach to service delivery for South Africa’s young people who are NEET. Informed by international best practices of comprehensive support to young people, the project carefully considered and consulted on the suitability and feasibility of an intervention appropriate for the South African context. The result was a comprehensive evidence-based proposal for the development and implementation of a Basic Package of Support for youth who are NEET. Read more.

Phase 2: Towards implementing a Basic Package of Support for young people who are NEET
The BPS model that emerged out of phase 1 requires both a transversal policy approach and a youth-centred programmatic intervention. The project now moves into a much more applied phase, still in broad collaboration with previous – and new – partners, including the National Pathway Management Network of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. This phase, which commenced at the beginning of 2020, focuses on developing and nurturing multi-sectoral communities of practice at national, provincial and local levels to support both young people and the services and opportunities that exist for them; and to prepare the necessary systems and tools that will be needed for the next phase of piloting the BPS in four selected communities in two provinces of South Africa. Read more.