Government still fails to stem the rise in unemployment

2019-07-03 06:00

Motsi Makhokhoma of the Botshabelo Unemployed Movement:

The latest stats on the unemployment rate shows that the worst days are coming. The South African unemployment rate has increased to 27,6% for the first quarter as released by Stats South Africa.

It is embarrassing because the group that has the most unemployment is under the age of 35 years. This makes South Africa one of the worst in the world in terms of unemployment.

We have inequalities that also worsen the situation and are increasing poverty.

Already we have thousands of youths roaming the streets looking for jobs, while others have given up.

Some have been without jobs for more than ten years since they have completed school and university with qualifications.

Stats SA is not counting the number of people discouraged, which when we add them, pushes the number above the official statistics.

According to Stats SA, our employment rate is now 27,6%, but this is not regarded as a national crisis that needs urgent attention. In other developing countries an unemployment rate of 9%, 11% or 15% is regarded as a national crisis.

The ANC-led government is not even bothered to create jobs for the unemployed to address the crisis this country is facing. Instead, we are seeing the scourge of corruption under the ruling party, as publicised.

Since 1996 thousands of jobs have been lost. This is because of the neo liberal framework.

Neo liberalism has made South Africa a country of buyers. South Africa used to manufacture home appliances, clothes, steels, cutlery, trains and so on.

But those industries were shut down due to neo liberal policies and competition.

The government’s current Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and Community Work Programme (CWP) are a failure because they do not deal with structural inequalities and unemployment.

EPWP/CWP workers are employed by tender companies who pay them peanuts: between R850 and R1 120 per month.

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