JOHANNESBURG - A new report by the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) urges drastic urgent action in South Africa as the unemployment crisis is worsening, instead of getting better.
In the report, “Ten Million and Rising”, the CDE noted that between 2008 and 2019 the number of people who wanted to work but could not find any or have given up looking for work rose to 10.3million from 6.5million.
It said that every day about 1700 adults joined the labour market and fewer than a third or 500 of them found work. The situation for young people aged between 15 and 34 years old was even worse, as between 2008 and 2019 the population of young people increased by 2.2million, but the number employed fell by more than 500000. “The problem has been exacerbated by years of neglect and inappropriate policies, but all is not lost.
We could make significant progress in stimulating growth and increasing employment if government were to adopt a package of realistic policies,” CDE executive director Ann Bernstein said.
Unemployment was high because economic growth was low, but according to the CDE, this was largely because governance - namely policy choice, delivery and institutional effectiveness - had been so poor. The CDE said politically difficult decisions would have to be taken if South Africa was to stand a chance of both faster economic and employment growth.
“South Africa requires leadership, political will and astute political management if the country is to become serious about the ever-growing jobs crisis,” the report stated.