Commonwealth Youth and Development <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p><em>Commonwealth Youth and Development</em> is a multidisciplinary biannual publication that seeks to promote understanding of, and impetus for, the empowerment of the youth which will enable them to play a crucial and constructive role in the development of their communities. It recognises the importance of the youth and youth workers in developing countries and seeks to promote the professionalisation of youth work.</p> <p>Accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training of South Africa</p> Unisa Press en-US Commonwealth Youth and Development 1727-7140 <p>Copyright will be vested in Unisa Press. However, as long as you do not use the article in ways which would directly conflict with the publisher’s business interests, you retain the right to use your own article (provided you acknowledge the published version of the article) as follows:</p> <ol> <li class="show">to make further copies of all or part of the published article for your use in classroom teaching;</li> <li class="show">to make copies of the final accepted version of the article for internal distribution within your institution, or to place it on your own or your institution’s website or repository, or on a site that does not charge for access to the article, but you must arrange not to make the final accepted version of the article available to the public until 18 months after the date of acceptance;</li> <li class="show">to re-use all or part of this material in a compilation of your own works or in a textbook of which you are the author, or as the basis for a conference presentation.</li> </ol> Risk Factors Associated with Hopelessness among Unemployed Graduates during the Covid-19 Lockdown in South Africa <p>Hopelessness is defined as having a pessimistic expectation of the future and the belief that goals are unachievable. It is reported to be high among the unemployed. During the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment increased, especially among young graduates. Hence, in this study, we aimed to find the factors that contributed to developing feelings of hopelessness in unemployed South African graduates. This study made use of the survey data obtained from the larger Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) study. The primary outcome variable was the presence of hopelessness, which was based on Beck’s Hopelessness Scale (BHS). The study participants completed a self-administered questionnaire on a data-free online platform within two months of commencement of employment in the PYEI internship programme. The survey data were analysed using Stata 15.0. (StataCorp Texas USA 2016). The prevalence of hopelessness was presented by the independent variables of interest. Bivariate logistic regression models were used to investigate the association between the independent variables with the primary outcome of hopelessness. Our study reported that being “not African” was associated with hopelessness and that prolonged social media use protected against developing feelings of hopelessness. Identifying these risk factors is vital in caring for the mental health of South Africans.</p> Semone Thakoordeen-Reddy Ronel Sewpaul Shandir Ramlagan Natisha Dukhi Yolande Shean Sibusiso Sifunda Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-06-10 2024-06-10 14 pages 14 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/16072 Race, Age, and Gender as Attributes of Student Attrition in an Open Distance E-Learning (ODeL) Landscape <p>Using the deficit theory, this article explored whether race, age, and gender are determining factors leading to attrition. The study followed a qualitative methodological approach. Data were generated through telephonic and focus-group interviews. To identify suitable honours students who dropped out, the snowball sampling technique was used. Sixteen participants were selected purposively and interviewed. While six of them participated in a focus group, 10 were interviewed telephonically. Findings divulged that many of the students who further their studies in open distance e-learning institutions experience a range of challenges, which, in due course, lead to attrition. Lecturers’ failure to provide feedback on time, amongst other reasons for attrition, was cited as a serious determining factor. Although preceding studies have unveiled that race, age, and gender contribute towards student attrition in higher education, this inquiry uncovered that such is not always the case. To effectively respond to the needs causing attrition, students and lecturers must address these challenges that they encounter in teaching and learning. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to develop and implement training programmes for students and lecturers on aspects such as time management, managing their workload, and encouraging lecturers to provide feedback on time to the students concerned.</p> Rendani S Netanda Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-06-19 2024-06-19 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/14517 Evaluating the Implementation of Public Participation in Service Delivery Planning in the Democratic Age: A Case of South African Municipalities <p>The main objective of this article is to evaluate the implementation of public participation in service delivery planning in the democratic age. Over the past few years, there has been a shift in the responsibility of service delivery planning from a centralised (national) level of government to a more decentralised (municipal) level. Contemporary perspectives on planning suggest that the responsibility is no longer regarded as a hierarchical process, but rather as a collaborative process that involves the active participation of citizens as key stakeholders. The notion of public participation is regarded as a crucial factor in the democratisation of service delivery. This is a desktop study, also known as a conceptual study, that is based on collaborative planning theory and democratic decision-making theory to develop ideas and arguments. The article highlights the importance of public participation in service planning, emphasising its significance despite the intricate structures, obstacles, and substantial administrative challenges involved. The assessment is conducted to determine the viability of implementing practical strategies that can effectively support a sustainable service delivery process. The findings of the article indicate that the involvement of the public in integrated development planning (IDP) processes is of utmost importance in ensuring the long-term viability of service delivery. This study posits that it is imperative to assess the continued applicability of the integrated development planning tool in effectively addressing developmental obstacles in rural regions of South Africa. In addition, it is recommended that future studies prioritise the assessment of whether the practice of creating the service delivery budget implementation plan separately from the (IDP) process is not conducive to the emergence of service delivery protests. This would involve investigating the potential misalignment between these two factors across multiple municipalities.</p> France Kgobe Mohamed Saheed Bayat Abdulrazak Karriem Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-10-10 2023-10-10 20 pages 20 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/12602 A Critical Analysis of the African National Congress’s Inclination to the Freedom Charter: A Review of Implementation <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">The Freedom Charter is supposed to be a guiding document on policy directives for the post-apartheid African National Congress (ANC) government. However, there is strong corroboration driving a lack of academic attention to this well-deserved scholarly subject. In simple terms, scholars do not pay much attention to linking the ANC to this important historical document. Against this background, we argue that the contemporary ANC is encountering several challenges with respect to the implementation of the tenets of the Freedom Charter. The adoption and utility of the “Promise Theory,” in the context of this article, is informed fundamentally by the need to theoretically frame the analysis within a relevant historical theoretical lens. This is done in order to best shape the broader analysis and scholarly arguments advanced in this article. This showcases all that has to do with the Freedom Charter and the various challenges facing the ANC in implementing the document. Methodologically, this article is informed by a complete document review and thematic content analysis. </span></p> Benjamin Rapanyane Mpho Makgamatha Faith Mkhatshwa Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-02-19 2024-02-19 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/11784 Community Technology Centres as Bridges to Foster Social and Digital Equality amongst the Youth in South Africa <p>This article sheds some light on the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in promoting youth development in selected communities in KwaZulu-Natal. The study targeted the youth in four selected community technology centres in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Through a survey, 207 youth were selected through convenience sampling. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire. In addition, data were tabulated and presented using tables, frequencies and percentiles. The study was informed by the diffusion of innovations theory. The results indicate that a variety of ICTs are available in the telecentres to provide the youth with much-needed access to information and improved communication. The study recommends that there should be sufficient and coherent government policies regulating the training of the youth to effectively use these ICTs. Government should ensure that adequate ICT training is offered to the youth. In addition, there is a need to gradually include ICT training in the school curricula at all levels, including primary education.</p> Blessing Mbatha Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-10-17 2023-10-17 19 pages 19 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/9842 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Strategy for Job Creation in the Era of Unemployment Crises: A Qualitative Study of Kamhlushwa Township, Mpumalanga Province <p>Unemployment is a devastating development challenge in South Africa. In an attempt to address unemployment, the South African government supports diverse economic growth strategies, one of which is the small and medium enterprise (SME) strategy. While the role of SMEs in economic growth is increasingly recognised, there is no conclusive evidence on the contribution of SMEs towards job creation in townships. This article analyses the contribution of SMEs towards job creation in Kamhlushwa township. Ten face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with SME owners in Kamhlushwa township to elicit data. The results indicate that the SMEs’ contribution to job creation varies across sectors, with the agricultural sector making the largest contribution. The results also indicate that there are factors enabling SMEs to create jobs, which include the availability of resources, high demand for products or services, and quality of infrastructural development. Conversely, the results demonstrate that there are factors impeding the SMEs from creating jobs, which include a lack of resources, poor municipal service delivery, and cost of distribution and transportation. This study recommends more government support targeting township SMEs to enhance their contribution to job creation.</p> Zethembe Mseleku Mbongeni Mashele Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-06-19 2024-06-19 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/16393 The Cost of Premature Deindustrialisation and the Economic Crisis for Young People in a Zimbabwean Town <p>Deindustrialisation in Zimbabwe has garnered considerable interest among researchers across various academic fields. There is a substantial scholarly discourse regarding its impact on the national economy, employment reduction, heightened levels of adult unemployment, brain drain, escalating urban poverty, societal disintegration, and gender and health ramifications. However, existing research has focused on these themes, resulting in a critical gap in understanding how the phenomenon has impacted young people. This study addresses this gap by emphasising the neglect of young people as a demographic category in current discourse. It uses ethnographic data collected in Norton Town to shed light on how young people have experienced and responded to this phenomenon. An important discovery from the study is that there have been notable shifts in the perspectives of young individuals regarding activities like higher education, training, and formal employment. Additionally, the inquiry unveiled that this trend has significantly impacted the standard of high school and tertiary education, as well as internship and apprenticeship programmes.</p> Martin Magidi Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-06-10 2024-06-10 19 pages 19 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/15826 Youth Entrepreneurship as a Strategy for Household Poverty Reduction in Umjindi Trust Village, Mpumalanga Province <p>This paper explores the contribution of youth entrepreneurship to poverty reduction in households of Umjindi Trust Village, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. This paper deems youth entrepreneurship as one of the strategies contributing to household poverty reduction in rural areas. This research adopted a qualitative approach to explore the contribution of youth entrepreneurship to household poverty reduction. Thus, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted with youth entrepreneurs to elicit data. In addition, focus group discussions, consisting of family members of youth entrepreneurs, were conducted to supplement data from interviews. The results suggest that youth entrepreneurship is a survival strategy in Umjindi Trust Village’s job-scarce environment. It is evident that youth entrepreneurship strategy positively contributes to poverty reduction at household level, mainly through job creation for youth entrepreneurs themselves and community members. However, the potential of youth entrepreneurship is undermined by several challenges, including lack of start-up funding, unfavourable government regulations, lack of skills, and poor marketing. Therefore, this paper recommends the active participation of youth centres and organisations in decentralised entrepreneurial training and entrepreneurship support to promote youth entrepreneurship in remote areas.</p> Zethembe Mseleku Thokozani Sukati Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-10-10 2023-10-10 17 pages 17 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/13498 Role of School Libraries in Promoting a Reading Culture in High Schools in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">A school library is essential to any school’s learning and teaching activities since it serves as an information and innovation hub. School libraries can play a crucial part in developing a reading culture by providing free and equitable access to reading materials. Chinhoyi is the provincial capital of one of the 10 administrative provinces in Zimbabwe, Mashonaland West Province. The town has four high schools—three government-funded schools and one private school. This study sought to ascertain the role played by school libraries in promoting a reading culture in high schools. The study was qualitative and adopted an interpretive research paradigm with a focus group and face-to-face interviews. The research established that although some schools have libraries, learners are not using the libraries due to outdated and irrelevant resources, and some libraries are not functional. Challenges were noted regarding why the reading culture is declining in Chinhoyi high schools. The main challenges were a lack of resources, a lack of qualified personnel to manage the library, and a lack of funds to buy resources for the school libraries. Based on these findings, the study suggests the following recommendations: schools should employ qualified personnel; more funds to purchase library resources are required; schools should include library hours in the school timetable to allow learners to read; and libraries should introduce storytelling sessions.</span></p> Judith Nzara Nampombe Saurombe Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-06-03 2024-06-03 15 pages 15 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/12128 Covid-19’s Emotional Toll on Students: Experiences during Online Assessments in an Open and Distance Learning Programme <p>The Covid-19 pandemic had an immense effect on teaching and learning during 2020. The fast shift to online examinations in reaction to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown underlines the significance of motivationally enriched and emotionally supportive instruction through this stressful time. It cannot be assumed that all students had the same access to online assets or internet-equipped devices such as laptops or tablets. Not all students coped well, as an analysis of student remarks in a qualitative study indicates. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to analyse student reports on emotions experienced during the first fully online assessments in the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in order to develop an understanding of the motivating and supportive learning environments in online teaching. A total of 20 students from an open and distance learning university were purposefully selected to answer 15 questions related to their learning needs and, in particular, emotional challenges during lockdown. The study drew on a theoretical framing of five motivational design principles, which link emotions to academic performance. The 17 participants all had access to mobile phones and 12 to laptops for participation in online academic activities. The emotions experienced most by the students varied from anxiousness to restlessness, associated with technology access, and the trend was that emotions were shared mostly with family and friends. The findings are discussed in terms of the need to support student emotions in a fully online university course during these stressful times.</p> Elize Du Plessis Gert Van der Westhuizen Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press 2024-05-27 2024-05-27 17 pages 17 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/10361 Through Filmic Lenses: The Social Impact of HIV/AIDS on the Orphaned Girl Child in Zimbabwe <p>Millions of children worldwide have become orphaned for many reasons such as war, famine, displacement, disease, and poverty. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has drastically altered the world children live in. It has led to many children becoming orphans worldwide. An orphan, according to the World Vision, is a child younger than 18 years who has lost either one biological, foster or adoptive parent or both biological, foster or adoptive parents. The <em>Sunday Mail </em>of 12 November 2017 carried a story in which the United Nations International Children’s Fund reported that 17.8 million children worldwide have lost both parents (double orphan), with 153 million having lost one parent (single orphan). The United Nations International Children’s Fund, furthermore, reported that in Zimbabwe there were close to 2 million orphans, with an estimated 3 900 orphans being raised in orphanages. The social roles, rights and privileges of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS have ultimately become disrupted particularly in child-headed households. Guided by the media reflection hypothesis coupled with a qualitative content approach, this article critically examines <em>Everyone’s Child</em>, a Zimbabwean feature film directed by Tsitsi Dangarembga in 1996, to discuss some of the social impacts of HIV/AIDS on the orphaned girl child in Zimbabwe. Films play an important role in society. They act as reflectors or mirrors of society; therefore, this article argues that the film <em>Everyone’s Child </em>reflects back to society which challenges are faced by children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in child-headed families in Zimbabwe. The absence of biological parents therefore makes the life of orphans stressful and affects their well-being negatively.</p> Maurice Taonezvi Vambe Washington Mushore Copyright (c) 2023 Unisa Press 2023-10-10 2023-10-10 18 pages 18 pages 10.25159/2663-6549/9292