JOHANNESBURG - The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) said it is totally dismayed, but not surprised that the country’s official unemployment rate has now jumped up to 29%.
These figures have just been released by Statistics South Africa, indicating the highest joblessness rate since 2008 increasing by 1.4% since the first quarter of the year.
Alarm bells raised by Fedusa and repeated calls to President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a blanket moratorium on the wave of retrenchments in the middle of an economic crisis has now formally been confirmed by way of the statistical release. According to StatsSA, the Eastern Cape has recorded the highest unemployment rate at 35.4%, with private households, the transport and mining sectors recording the biggest declines in unemployment. Sadly, at the onset of the August Women’s Month celebrations, the unemployment rate for females is 31,3% and remains higher than that of males, whilst youth unemployment is higher irrespective of the level of education, with youth unemployment standing at 32.3%.
Fedusa believes that total commitment towards not only savings jobs, but equally so, creating jobs, by all stakeholders, needs to form the cornerstone of the upcoming Presidential Jobs Summit in order to craft an urgent turnaround strategy coupled with a strong stimulus package. The first meeting of the Presidential Jobs Committee, scheduled for 01 August 2019, must prioritise and address the structural changes required to accelerate employment creation, including changes to good corporate governance, ethical leadership and accountability. On the back of South Africa's credit rating cut to negative by Fitch, it is high time for accountability to be translated into concrete results by ensuring that those implicated in corruption and state capture will pay back the money, to fund initiatives that will reskill retrenched workers and upskill the current workforce in preparation for the technological advancements of the fourth industrial revolution.
Exploration of alternative approaches to that which have been followed is now becoming a growing reality, considering the harsh fact that the principle of job creation has gone from bad to worse. The need for collective wisdom to address the issue of job creation is required now more than ever.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE