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JOHANNESBURG  - Skills challenges and doubts over the integrity and trustworthiness of institutions pose a challenge to South Africa's economic growth potential, a seminar at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) has heard.

In a presentation to the seminar, economist and head of the Futures Studies programmes at USB, Prof. André Roux, said the country needed to suitably equip its young population to find jobs by training them in competitive high tech skills.

“We are not producing enough people from our education system who are capable and able to take up jobs in the tertiary sector," Roux said.

"We have a problem situation whereby 60 percent of adults do not have 12 years of education and for most jobs today, we could argue that 12 years of education is the absolute minimum requirement."

He noted that South Africa’s global competiveness had deteriorated since 2012, dropping 20 positions in the last two years and getting replaced by Mauritius on the top spot.

Director of programmes at the Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute, Ebrahim Fakir, told the forum that the future of institutions in South Africa was at risk as a result of increasing intra-racial inequality ahead of general elections.

Fakir predicted that the ruling African National Congress would retain power with a majority, noting that "there just isn’t significant levels of public trust in a political alternative to keep society together for people to shift their vote away from the ANC".

- African News Agency (ANA)