Economist Duma Gqubule has described the country’s current unemployment rate as a national disgrace.
The unemployment rate has increased to its highest level since the publication of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
The unemployment rate increased from 34% in the second quarter to 34.9% in the third quarter of this year.
This means that the number of unemployed people now stands at 7 643 000. According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 46.6% of the labour force was without work in the third quarter.
Gqubule says government must urgently change course in its economic policies if the country’s current high unemployment is to be addressed.
“If that doesn’t convince you that something has to change, we can’t continue with business as usual, nothing will ever make you change. South Africa, let us accept it, we are an un-viable society. It cancels out everything that the government claims to have achieved since 1994. Whatever you tried to do in 1994, that’s been an utter failure, because so many people are unemployed. We’re heading towards 50% of unemployment for South Africans of all races.”
In the video below, Gqubule speaks more on SA’s unemployment rate:
“Government not doing much to save jobs”
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Deputy General-Secretary Solly Phetoe says government’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan is not helping to save jobs.
“It looks like both at the level of government and employers, they have no capacity to deal with the implementation of the agreement we’ve reached in terms of the stimulus packages that we agreed at the National Job Summit. But also including the issue of the economic reconstruction plan. Really, it’s highly disappointing. Now COVID-19 has now increased, we’ve lost over 20 000 jobs in a few months and that shows that as workers we’ll continue to be punished,” says Phetoe.
Meanwhile, in the video below, SAFTU’S Zwelinzima Vavi reacts to SA’s unemployment rate: