JOHANNESBURG: 27-year-old Lesley completed his teacher training in 2010. Since then his attempts to find employment as a teacher have been futile.
He recently gave up his hunt and is now working as a barber in a salon in Germiston near Johannesburg.
"I applied for many jobs but teaching jobs are not forthcoming," he says. "I think what the ruling ANC promised in 1994 is really not happening for many black people like me."
Even though he is not working as a teacher, Lesley acknowledges that he is lucky to have a job. There are nearly 18 million working age South Africans without employment.
The recent shooting of striking platinum mine workers in Marikana by the police highlighted the growing frustration by poor South Africans with poverty, unemployment and inequality.
South Africa is a unique country. It's not only one of the most diverse countries in the world, it is also one of the most unequal societies. Poverty here co-exists with great affluence.
According to a recent World Bank report, the wealthiest 10% of the population earn nearly 60% of the country's total income. These statistical realities are further complicated by the fact that inequalities correlate with race.
The South African institute of race relations reports that white per capita personal income is nearly eight times higher than that of black South Africans.
President Jacob Zuma recently acknowledged that the slow pace of post-apartheid economic redistribution is becoming a threat to the country's economy, the biggest in Africa.
"The structure of the apartheid-era economy has remained largely intact", he said at a recent ANC policy conference. "The ownership of the economy is still primarily in the hands of white males as it has always been," he added, before calling for greater state involvement in mining and land ownership to address 'inequalities inherited from apartheid'.
On his part, Nobel peace laureate and last president of apartheid-era South Africa FW de Klerk warned of "new racism" in South Africa.
"The Mandela and Mbeki era of reconciliation is over," he said. "White males are quite unjustly blamed for the continuing triple crisis of unemployment, inequality and poverty."
According to de Klerk the governing ANC is using racism as a "smokescreen" to hide its failures.
This year marked the 18th anniversary of South Africa's first non-racial elections that heralded the birth of the "Rainbow Nation".
As the first generation of children born free of segregation come of age, the August edition of BBC Africa Debate will explore race relations and inequality in South Africa over the last 18 years. A panel of 18 year olds - part of the 'born-free' generation will discuss their experiences growing up in modern South Africa.
How socially integrated is the country?
Has the country truly reconciled? Can reconciliation be achieved without tackling inequality?
Are the country's affirmative action programmes such as Black Economic Empowerment achieving their objectives?
The programme will be recorded and broadcast from Johannesburg on 31st August 2012.
Follow Rachael Akidi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/rakidi