The jobs bloodbath is upon South Africa as the economy tanks under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Job losses are not only in the private sector, state-owned enterprises like SAA, SA Express and the SABC are considering retrenchments and the youth are expected to suffer the most.
Political Analyst Somadoda Fikeni says South Africa lacks the political will to tackle poverty, inequality and unemployment.
“There seems not to be no political conviction in terms of its intensity, but again as young indicated, we are a divided society. Therefore, others will always have different perspectives in terms of how to tackle the same and others may even have a lip service into ending inequality, but without tempering with the very deep structural and institutional hurdles.”
On the video below, Fikeni discusses the impact of COVID-19 on South Africans:
Massive job losses
The public broadcaster has announced possible staff retrenchments on Thursday, saying it will consult with its more than 3 000 employees about their intention to cut jobs.
The SABC says due to the dire financial position of the corporation, it would simply not be financially viable for it to continue in the current form. Approximately 600 permanent employees will be affected, including senior management.
The SABC plans to conclude its restructuring process by September this year.
ArcelorMittal, Sasol to cut jobs
Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa has announced plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs as part of a restructuring process to cut costs.
The company, which is Africa’s biggest steel producer says it expects crude steel production to take some time to return to historical or planned levels for 2020.
Energy and chemical company, Sasol, has issued unions with a Section 189 retrenchment notice to cut an unspecified number of jobs as well.
Sasol’s global workforce is over 31 000 with the bulk of employees based in South Africa.
The move is likely due to a drop in oil prices and production as economies around the world came to a halt due to the pandemic.
The economic impact of retrenchments with Thabi Leoka:
22 000 jobs are reportedly on the line at the retail group Edcon. Edcon which owns Edgars and Jet has blamed the lockdown for a collapse in sales and its inability to pay suppliers.
The 90-year-old company has been placed in business rescue and it looking for buyers to avoid being liquidated.
Cell C has started a retrenchment process that may result in 960 people losing their jobs. As the cellular operator is set to retrench 40% of its workforce.
Indlulamithi Scenarios paints a bleak future for South Africa
Research organisation Indlulamithi Scenarios painted a bleak future for South Africa, as a result of the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown.
The organisation is projecting unemployment to skyrocket to 40%, while the economy is expected to continue shrinking.