The latest unemployment figures from Stats SA vindicates our assertion that “market-driven reforms” have failed
12 February 2019
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the latest Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter of 2018, that shows that South Africa ended last year with an unemployment rate of 27.1%.
This vindicates our position that there is no plan from the policymakers to solve our stubborn unemployment rate. Even during the fourth quarter where we expect to see more temporary workers being absorbed during the festive season, our unemployment rate was reduced by a measly 0.4 of a percentage point.
This does not count the section 189 applications that continue to pour in at CCMA from all the sectors of the economy. The number of employed persons increased is now sitting at 16.5 million, while the number of people on welfare is going up.
COSATU is urging workers to support tomorrow’s strike to fight against an economic system that does not create employment opportunities and that increases inequality. The Market-driven reforms that President Cyril Ramaphosa was championing in his State Of the Nation Address have clearly failed and it’s about time we have an interventionist state that will transform the distortions of our apartheid capitalist economy.
Only profound economic restructuring and the forging of new strategies for growth and development will solve these problems. We need a politically governed redistribution of wealth and opportunities from the formal to the non-formal sectors of the economy.
Important and progressive policies that could help tackle our crisis of unemployment, inequality and poverty have been promised without being implemented after elections in the past.
This strike is about demanding that 2019 marks a turning point in the long trajectory of self- destruction of our government, since 1996 to a new path of a people-centred development trajectory and a disciplined revolutionary movement.
Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 12 February 2019