CAPE TOWN – Government's intention to cut 30,000 jobs in the public sector will worsen the country's employment rate which breached the 29 percent mark, the Public Servants Assocation (PSA) said on Tuesday.

Reacting to the latest unemployment figures released by Statistics South Africa earlier in the day which put the unemployment rate at its highest since 2008, the PSA in a statement said this was concerning given President Cyril Ramaphosa's assertion that unemployment was government's number one priority.

The figures show that the working-age population increased by 150,000, or 0.4 percent, compared to the first quarter. The number of employed people increased to 16.3 million while that of the jobless climbed by 455,000 to 6.7 million.

"The PSA called on President Ramaphosa to make his job-creation plans clear, as so far, no progress is seen," the statement said.

"The Union further repeated its appeal that the offer of early-retirement packages and voluntary-severance packages to public servants be placed on hold until the reconfiguration of government is completed and that consequences be managed in a proper manner in the interest of service delivery."

African News Agency (ANA)