African National Congress national chairperson Gwede Mantashe has described the high unemployment rate in the country as part of a global crisis.

He says government should create a conducive environment for entrepreneurship to assist unemployed South Africans. This as the number of unemployed people is now at 7,8 million (actively looking for jobs) in the second quarter of 2021. This is an increase of 584 000 compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Eastern Cape has recorded the highest official and expanded unemployment rates.

Mantashe who took the ANC local government election campaign to Kimberley says it’s not possible for government to employ every South African.

“National government must have the responsibility to create an environment for unemployment. There are two things that you must do if you want to deal with employment. Never promise that government will employ everybody, because it’s not going to happen. But the government must create an environment for people to take initiative, promote entrepreneurship. If you are a small business you employ two people, you have removed two people from unemployment and encourage them and support them. In South Africa, only 10% of the GDP comes from small and medium enterprises.”

More jobs lost in the second quarter of 2021:

Unemployment increased to 34.4% in the second quarter of this year: Stats SA

Unemployment is at its highest since Statistics South Africa started tracking the figure in 2008. Stats SA’s quarterly labour force survey shows that unemployment increased to 34.4% in the second quarter of this year, from 32.6% in the first quarter.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke announced the latest quarterly stats in  August.

The survey showed that the number of employed persons decreased by 54 000 in the second to 14.9 million.

It further indicates that the number of unemployed persons increased by 584 000.

Maluleke said, “The unemployment rate for the 2nd quarter for 2021 – the number of those who were employed in the 1st quarter of 2021 had declined in the 2nd quarter by 54 000 people. The number of unemployed increased by 584 000 people from 7.2 million people to 7.8 million people. The unemployment rate of SA in the 2nd quarter of 2021 is 34.4% – this is the highest we have seen since 2008.”

Economist and employment analyst Andrew Levy said, “That is an increase of 2.4% and that is a huge number and obviously we can put this to the post-COVID situation and the ongoing retrenchments that are being seen right across the economy, obviously also reflecting the very negative economic outlook we are facing. So all in all a serious wake-up call to everyone, government, the departments dealing with labour.”