Government urgently needs to provide additional bursaries to train talented teachers
The original publication is available at http://wwww.sajs.co.za/
The world’s population reached 7 billion last month, just as South Africa’s national census was completed. Most of this growth has occurred within the last century – the global population stood at just 2 billion in 1927. Steven Sinding, director of the US Agency for International Development, has remarked that ‘Clearly we are living through an extraordinary period in human history, an era of unprecedented growth in our species’. Africa is the continent with the second largest share of the world’s population – just over a billion people, but population numbers in sub-Saharan Africa, where birth rates have not been falling significantly as they have been elsewhere in the developing world, are predicted to double by 2050. At last count (in 2005), South Africa’s 50 million residents comprised just less than 5% of the continent’s population. The present census should enumerate the extent to which our population has grown, with an expected reduction in fertility associated with increasing urbanisation likely to be exceeded by increased migration.