South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to the highest on a global list of 82 countries monitored by Bloomberg. Supplied
South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to the highest on a global list of 82 countries monitored by Bloomberg. Supplied

There is a dire need for a new wave of black industrialists

By Time of article published Sep 25, 2021

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By Refilwe Monageng

South Africa's unemployment rate has risen to the highest on a global list of 82 countries monitored by Bloomberg. Stats SA issued a statement on Tuesday (24 August 2021) stating the unemployment rate now stands at 34.4% as of Q2 2021, up from 32.6% measured in the first quarter of this year. As for the expanded definition of unemployment, that has risen to a shocking level of 44.4%. The 15-24 years age group has climbed to 64.4%, while the 25-34 years group has recorded 42.9% unemployment. The data also indicates that the formal sector shed 375,000 jobs between Q1 and Q2 this year.

Unemployment is spiralling out of control, and black people - who are the majority of our citizens - are the hardest hit. The alarming statistics recently released mean that there has never been a more urgent time in our country for the public and private sector to come together to support the previously disadvantaged participants of our economy. We need to see meaningful reforms, and purposeful investment particularly for SMME’s and black entrepreneurs who have consistently been locked out of the economy.

We call on Government to once and for all put measures in place to significantly reduce the obstacles preventing small businesses and entrepreneurs to enter the market. Initiatives such as more funding, tax amnesty, lower taxes, less red tape, credit bureau amnesty, aggressive skills development through the Setas, and more flexibility in areas such as employment. It is critical for all of us to truly commit to genuinely transforming the economy for all, not just a select, connected few.

As an entrepreneur myself, I see a real need to have a new wave of black industrialists to breathe new life and bring fresh ideas to our economy especially in the townships in order to create sustainable employment opportunities for everyone.

The Black Entrepreneurs Alliance’s objective is to advance black entrepreneurship, skills development, access to finance, equitable financial products and reduce poverty.

Refilwe Monageng is the CEO of the Black Entrepreneurs Alliance.

*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.

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