In a recent poll by Sanlam and executed by Ova to You, 91% of 1845 respondents considered education key to their future success; 77% believed a qualification made people more employable; and 92% believed their children would need more than one qualification to ensure gainful employment.
The belief among survey participants that a qualification improves employment prospects is backed up by data. Research based on Statistics South Africa data shows that having a matric certificate doesn’t do much to improve work prospects. Only a degree, diploma or certificate really moves the needle.
André Wentzel from Sanlam says: “Our findings reveal that in lower-income households, in particular, saving for education is in the top four monthly expenditure priorities. But, inevitably, there’s a shortfall between what people can save and the real cost of education.”
A 2019 Stats SA report based on 2017 data found that just a third of young people aged 18 to 24 were attending educational institutions - only 11.6% were in tertiary education. Over half the youth said they couldn’t afford tuition.