Hope for a Better Future: Young People’s (im)Mobility in Pretoria Central, South Africa
Young people in South Africa are not equally affected by unemployment and precarious living conditions and, given the racialized past of the country, it is not surprising that race and class play influential roles in young people’s life chances. High unemployment figures and limited targeted social assistance programmes exacerbate the difficult circumstances under which young people live. NEET (not in employment, education or training) serves as an indicator of marginalisation in South Africa and underscores the precariousness among different categories of young people in the country. Pretoria, one of the urban centres in South Africa, attracts many such young people. Employing a life course perspective, we conducted three focus groups and qualitative individual interviews with 24 young people in Pretoria. Mobility, including migration, emerged as a survival strategy employed by young people. Moving within the city or between the city and nearby towns is a way of life for many participants. In some cases, the responsibilities towards specific family members form a driving force for survival and a point of orientation. But others became stuck within a geographical area and particular life circumstances, resulting in a breakdown of all relationships with family members and a loss of place.
KeywordsYouth studies Mobility Migration NEET South Africa Life course perspective
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