Youth in South Africa are persons of the ages 14 to 35 and constitute a large part of the potential labour supply and economically active population. The youth are also one of the central focus areas of government and receive priority in national development policies. Very little is known about the role of youth in the economy. The purpose of this article is therefore to explore the position of youth in the South African economy. The survey below will indicate that one of the major problems faced by youth in Africa is the inability to establish a sustainable livelihood. Youth constitute 40 to 65 per cent of the unemployed in African countries, and this figure is rising. This requires alternative policies, in addition to the economic growth policies within the Growth, Employment and Redistribution framework. It has become essential that the scope be broadened for a larger range of solutions.