271011. Johannesburg, CBD. Economic freedom marchers from branches of the ANC youth league gathering at Beyers Naude Square this morning. 241 Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

South African youth are concerned about unemployment and education, a national survey has found.

Consumer insights company Pondering Panda said the survey was done to test reaction to development problems identified by the National Planning Commission (NPC) earlier this year.

The NPC identified nine major problems facing South Africa in the years ahead.

“The survey was to gauge the reaction of South Africa's youth between the ages of 15 and 34 years old to the questions facing South Africa,” Pondering Panda spokeswoman Shirley Wakefield said on Monday.

She said 5814 respondents were interviewed using mobile phones and the results were representative of the national population in the relevant age groups.

Wakefield said they were asked which three of the list of nine challenges were the most important to them.

Unemployment and education were identified as being of significantly higher importance than any other problems identified by the NPC, irrespective of age, gender, or race.

About two thirds of respondents chose them as the country's most pressing problems.

The survey also showed that education was relatively more important to younger respondents, while unemployment became more important as the respondents' ages increased.

Health and medical care were of major importance by about a third of respondents (36 percent).

Transport was the least important issue, with only eight percent of respondents identifying it as a major problem.

“These results should be noted by our national government, as they provide a very clear picture of where South Africa's youth feel the government should prioritise their strategic efforts,” said Wakefield.

It was important to note that the concern of the youth about the future was felt across all demographic groups, she said.

The survey was conducted from May 11 to 14. The NPC created a portal on Mxit in April.

Wakefield said the aim was to reach and engage with a youth audience which do not have easy access to traditional computers and the internet.

Over 50 000 people had since interacted with the NPC service on Mxit. - Sapa