Unemployment in South Africa a ticking timebomb
30 July 2019
The rise in the unemployment rate from 27,6% in the first quarter to 29% in the second quarter is extremely disturbing, but not a surprise.
The previous time that the unemployment rate rose to 29% was in 2008 and the highest ever unemployment rate was recorded in March 2003 at 29,3%.
Taking into account the people who have lost all hope for finding a job, there are an estimated 10 million unemployed people in South Africa, while the population has increased to 58 million people.
When it comes to unemployment, South Africa is sitting on a ticking timebomb and the country has become a welfare state with nearly 17 million people who are dependent on social grants. That is more than the number of people who actually do have jobs. This unsustainable situation was created by the ANC government.
Thoughtless policy directions and an utter lack of political will result in more and more people losing their jobs and becoming dependent on the government.
The private sector is being choked to death by restrictive labour legislation and overregulation by the government. Black Economic Empowerment, Affirmative Action and other prescriptive legislation boil down to government interference and it is preventing the private sector from contributing meaningfully to job creation.
The greatest job losses include, among other things, 44 000 professional posts and 19 000 domestic workers. It comes as no surprise seeing as the minimum wage along with the weakened economy makes it impossible for many middle-class households to afford employing these workers.
There is an immense imbalance between the available skills and the requirements in the labour market. Scholastic and tertiary training outputs do not satisfy the requirements, which means that potential candidates cannot be appointed. The blame for this can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the government as it has allowed the general standards of everything to sink to an unacceptably low level.
Everything that the ANC government touched over the last 25 years now needs a turnaround strategy. The unemployment problem in South Africa will, however, not be solved while the ANC is still in power.
Issued by Heloïse Jordaan, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Labour and Job creation, 30 July 2019