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SA is becoming a country of old people. Median age has risen from 23 to 27

9 July 2020 7:30 PM
Tags:
Lumkile Mondi
Median age

Lumkile Mondi says skills and knowledge that have driven a lot of the growth in the past are going to be undermined.

What is the average age of a South African? It is going up or is it going down? Are we seeing on average that South Africans are getting younger and younger?

The median age which was at 23 should have gone down even further because of birth rates probably increasing, but it hasn't. It has gone up to 27. It seems like a statistical anomaly, but these are official statistics.

Lumkile Mondi, a senior lecturer at the School of Economics and Business Science Wits, sheds light on this.

We are getting older the further, the shift in the median has gone up to 27. In the past eight years, we had a relative low median, meaning that the opportunity of a younger population which we call a democratic dividend, which meant that our working-age population was larger and therefore in theory should have led to high levels of productivity. and followed by high economic growth.

Lumkile Mondi, Senior lecturer, Wits School of Economics and Business Science

It seems to be that we have missed that democratic dividend, the birth rate is stabilising and is slow. We are getting older, were are becoming timers.

Lumkile Mondi, Senior lecturer, Wits School of Economics and Business Science

A lot of skills and knowledge that has driven a lot of the growth in the past is going to be undermined because those who are becoming elderly will need the attention to be protected by a health system as well as access to some income when they are not employed...putting pressure on state revenue.

Lumkile Mondi, Senior lecturer, Wits School of Economics and Business Science

On the other hand, because we are growing older in our environment, where most of the youth have been located in services-oriented industries, some of which are experiencing lockdown such particularly if you look at tourism, restaurants and the broader hospitality industries where most of the youth have been, this closure they may see them pushed outside the labour market.

Lumkile Mondi, Senior lecturer, Wits School of Economics and Business Science

Listen below for the full interview...


9 July 2020 7:30 PM
Tags:
Lumkile Mondi
Median age

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