Employment and livelihood strategies

The challenges that young South African’s face in accessing jobs: Could a targeted wage subsidy help?
The paper is outlines the severity of youth unemployment experiences, especially by African youth, followed by a discussion of the obstacles that affect the employment probabilities of young job seekers and possible interventions that could be used by government to address these obstacles. It also reports key findings of a youth survey and a firm survey with regards to the matching process and presents firms’ responses to a hypothetical youth wage subsidy.

Principal researcher: Dr Neil Rankin (University of the Witwatersrand, African Micro-Economic Research Umbrella Programme)
Dr Neil Rankin is an associate professor and the founding director of the African Microeconomics Research Umbrella (AMERU) in the School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He obtained his doctorate from the Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford, in 2005 and since then has been based at Wits. One stream of his current research work examines the links between company performance and labour market outcomes in an African context, and particularly the impact of trade at a microeconomic level. As part of his research he has managed and administered firm and labour market surveys in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania. Dr Rankin has published in a number of academic journals, has provided policy inputs to the South African Presidency, the Department of Labour, the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Treasury as well as the Rwandan Government and has provided consulting work for the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.


Understanding informal self-employment: a qualitative-quantitative integrated study
This report describes the findings of an in-depth investigation into informal self-employment in the South African context. The research sought to understand the contribution of informal self-employment to the livelihoods of the impoverished, the factors that both enable and constrain informal self-employment, and its relationship to the broader policy terrain. This is done in order to strengthen the ability of policy-makers to support the livelihoods of impoverished South Africans.

Principal researcher: David Neves (University of the Western Cape, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, PLAAS)
Having previously taught at Rhodes University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, David Neves is currently a researcher at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), within the School of Government at the University of the Western Cape. David is the former country manager of the UK-based Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) and brings a firm interest in human development, and an academic background in research psychology, to understanding issues of impoverished livelihoods and poverty.  Beneath the broad rubric of ‘poverty’, his research has predominantly focused on social protection (social grants) and informal self-employment.  David is currently registered for his PhD at the University of Cape Town.


Income generating projects as a development intervention of government – A case of government-funded agricultural projects in Limpopo
This paper describes the role of income generation projects as a development intervention of government. A descriptive quantitative-qualitative evaluative study was conducted to determine if the government-funded ‘income generation projects’ in the Department of Agriculture in Limpopo province are indeed generating income, and ways in which such projects are able to achieve the objective of poverty alleviation was determined by targeting food security projects that were funded by the Limpopo Province provincial government.

Principal researcher: Dr John Mudau (University of Venda, Centre for Rural Development)
Dr John Mudau’s training back ground is in social work and his qualifications include a BA in social work), and MA in supervision and management, and a PhD in rural development. He has worked as a social worker in several hospitals and offices, such as the Baragwanath and Donald Frazer hospitals, the Dzanani magistrate office and the Thohoyandou regional office. Through his social activism and consciousness, Dr Mudau has occupied several positions, ranging from church structures to political and business formations. He is currently serving as provincial secretary of the Black Management Forum Limpopo (BMF) and on the Limpopo provincial Liquor Board and Limpopo Council of Education and Training. His academic work is focused mainly around issues related to poverty alleviation and social policy. His current job entails supervising both Masters and PhD students at the Centre for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation at the University of Venda.