Everyday nearly 100,000 South Africans scour the country's streets in search of work. With a numbing jobless rate of 27 percent, the current state of South Africa's economy mirrors that of the U.S. economy during the Great Depression.
The 2010 World Cup was supposed to be the spark that ignited the country's fledgling economy. In the years leading up to the spectacle, six billion dollars went toward the construction of stadiums, roads and a fast train. Yet none of this has proved fruitful for the nation of 48 million people.
Even after it's held the global spotlight for the last month, South Africa's economic future remains bleak. Experts blame the country's education system as it remains consistent in its ways during the apartheid, which spanned from 1948-1994. Much of the 80 percent black majority is trained in menial jobs, a system set-up for failure.
"People who are teaching now, especially the teachers, these are people who were products of that system, a substandard system," said Sipho Seepe, a local columnist and educator. "So, you wouldn't expect that the people who had been produced by a substandard system will suddenly become excellent."
The meticulous painting of makarapas--a World Cup fan helmet--has created jobs for some individuals associated with Men on the Side of the Road, a nonprofit that counsels South Africans on finding job placement. However, these jobs are temporary, and will come to an abrupt end with the finale of the World Cup, leaving South Africans to continue searching for jobs that are non-existent.
"We lost somewhere around 900,000 permanent full-time jobs, which necessarily creates more stress on the casual work environment, because all those people are also going to be looking for some way of supporting themselves." Peter Kratz, Director of Men on the Side of the Road
1. What is the total population of South Africa?
2. What is unemployment?
3. What factors lead to unemployment?
4. What is apartheid?
1. In preparation for the World Cup, how much money was pumped into South Africa's economy?
2. Has it had a lasting impact on the country's economy?
3. What skills does Men on the Side of the Road help teach its clients?
4. In what ways could those skills help workers in the United States?
5. How did apartheid affect the economic growth of South Africa?
6. How does unemployment affect your daily life?