Organised business says unemployment numbers could rise by another 1.5 million by the end of 2020 if no drastic steps are taken on economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Increased unemployment in South Africa due to COVID-19 pandemic:
Business Unity South Africa, BUSA, and the Black Business Council have joined hands in a series of webcast discussions on how business and government can work together to tackle the economic crisis.
BUSA Vice President Martin Kingston says they are currently working hard with government, labour and civil society to find an integrated economic recovery plan.
“We have seen two million jobs being forfeited; one million in the formal sector, one million in the informal sector and we think there is potentially another million and a half that could be lost if we don’t get our act together as a matter of urgency. Therefore, we need to demonstrate not just in writing but we are able to put that into practise. I must say I’m heartened by the experience we have had at NEDLAC over the past five months over the pandemic where we have been able to work much more effectively as social partners than previously.”
Dire predictions about South Africa’s unemployment rate:
State not doing enough
Lawyers for Human Rights said in August that South Africa’s high unemployment rate stems from the state not doing enough to ensure that the injustices of the apartheid-era are properly eradicated.
Head of the Refugee and Migrants Programme at the Lawyers for Human Rights, Sharon Ekambaram, described as misleading the notion that the employment of foreign nationals is the cause of the country’s high unemployment rate.
“Stats SA says there is no more than three million people in our country who are foreign nationals. We remove all of them, are we going to remove that problem of unemployment? Any Bill or any policy that is formulated on the basis of exclusion and delusion is not going to solve the problem and it’s a complete lie. They must show us how this job protection is going to increase the number of jobs that are available and that more South Africans are going to get jobs. It’s nothing but propaganda, you know, it’s scapegoating foreign nationals because the current ruling party and the political parties have not got a proper solution.”