Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)’s Parliamentary Coordinator, Matthew Parks, says the government still faces a massive challenge in fostering the conditions for job growth, despite the one percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate.
Stats SA says unemployment decreased from 33.9% in the second quarter to 32.9% in the third quarter of this year, but youth unemployment remains high. Parks says the jobs crisis is still with us.
“We don’t need to pop the Champaign bottles because we still have an expanded unemployment rate at 42%. B but what we had in the previous quarter is positive news. Also bear in mind that in the first and second quarters of this year as well, unemployment also fell by 1% and for each quarter of the year we’ve seen unemployment fall by 3% and that’s good progress. But we should not rest because the unemployment rate of 43% is still dangerous and still a ticking time bomb for the SA society. It’s some recovery after covid but we’ve got much more work to do and let’s intensify efforts,” says Parks.
VIDEO: SA’s unemployment rate falls to 32.9% in the third quarter
Parks has attributed the country’s high unemployment rate to a number of challenges including Eskom’s load shedding.
“The reason we have a high unemployment rate it’s because every level of load shedding cost R1 billion every single day to the economy. If we can fix Eskom, all companies can be productive. We also need to deal with the issue of cable theft which is crippling to transfer and mining jobs. And of course, manufacturing and agriculture are key sectors as well if we can get Metrorail protected and rebuilt that helps to boost the economy because workers can get to work on time. We also need to see more action by government in our municipalities. Other things we can do are to invest more in SARS to enable more money to be given to support public services which help in rebuilding the economy,” Parks added.
VIDEO: Unemployment Stats ‘Loadshedding to blame for high unemployment, not established labour’: COSATU