11/02/2014. Stats General Pali Lehohla talks about the quarterly labour force survey during a press conference. Picture: Masi Losi

Parents were better skilled than their children, arguably as a result of changes to the education system after 1994, statistician-general Pali Lehohla said on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media in Pretoria at the release of Statistics SA’s 2013 General Household Survey, Lehohla said those younger than 35 did not have the skills of their parents.

“What we know is that the nursing schools, the teacher training schools, and where people used to do trades, (those) schools were closed, and they were converted into part of the university system,” he said.

“The net result has been those who are 15 to 34 do not have the skills of their parents, so hence the skills crisis, in part, in the country.”

He said those 35 and older had since 1994 increased their skills proportionally in comparison to those aged from 15 to 34. “Education is one weakness we have in South Africa and the economic problems we are facing are in part a consequence of a low-skilled workforce.”

According to the survey, 3.2 percent of blacks aged from 18 to 29 attended university last year, and 3.1 percent of coloureds in the same demographic attended. The figures were higher with Indians and Asians, at 9.2 percent. White attendance in the age group was 18.7 percent.

In 2002, in the same age group, 2.8 percent of blacks attended university, and 3.4 percent of coloureds, 12.7 percent of Indians and Asians and 15.6 percent of whites attended.

The survey sampled 25 786 households countrywide.

* Of the total population, the percentage of individuals who benefited from social grants increased from 12.7 percent in 2003 to 30.2 percent last year.

* The percentage of households that received at least one grant increased from 29.9 percent to 45.5 percent.

* Between 2002 and last year, the percentage of households that lived in formal dwellings and whose dwellings were fully owned increased from 52.9 percent to 54.9 percent.

* The percentage of households connected to the electricity supply from the mains has increased consistently from 77.1 percent in 2002 to 85 percent last year.

* The survey found there was high access to telecommunications for households. Only 5 percent did not have access to either landlines or cellphones last year.

* The percentage of households with access to improved sanitation facilities (eg, flush toilets or pit toilets with ventilation pipes) increased from 62.3 percent in 2002 to 77.9 percent last year.

* Taxis were the most commonly used form of public/subsidised transport as 40.2percent of households had at least one household member who used a minibus/sedan taxi or bakkie taxi during the week preceding the survey.

Sapa and Daily News