Cabinet remains concerned over the high rate of unemployment in the country, says Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

According to data from Stats SA’s 4th Quarter Labour Force Survey, over 700 000 job losses were recorded between Quarters 3 and 4 of 2020.

Unemployment continues to be the biggest challenge facing South Africa. The unemployment rate has risen to 32.5% growing the number of jobless people in South Africa to 7.2-million.

Briefing the media earlier, Ntshavheni said young people constitute the largest pool of the unemployed.

“It is disturbing that young people constitute the largest pool of the unemployed and African and coloured South Africans, as well as women, remain the most vulnerable groups in the economy of the country and this strengthens governments resolve to fast track measures to enable and support the meaningful participation of youth, women and black people in the economy of the country. This is in line with the recommitment of economic reform and transformation made by the President in the 2021 SONA.”

Cabinet also welcomed the efforts made by the police following the arrest and sentencing of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) perpetrators in the country.

“Cabinet welcomed the arrest of the man who brutally attacked Ms. Dimakatso Ratselane, the journalist of Lesedi FM. Cabinet also welcomed the sentencing of the murderer of the pregnant Tshegofatso Pule and the arrest of Nthuthuko Shoba, her boyfriend and father of her unborn child, for allegedly masterminding her murder. Cabinet calls on the criminal justice system to ensure justice is served on behalf of Ms. Ratselane, the late Ms. Pule, and other victims of GBVF.”

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Ntshavheni added: “Also Cabinet wishes to extend its congratulation and well wishes to our dear sister, Nigerian-born Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-lweala, who was elected on consensus on 15 February 2021 as the seventh Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organisation, with effect from 1 March 2021. She is the first woman and the first African to serve as DG of the international organisation that deals with the global rules of trade between nations. As South Africa, we are especially pleased because we led the campaign to support her candidature.”

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Cabinet has also commended educators for their continued efforts in enduring that learning continues despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.