Unlike the promises made by the government that we would have 5million extra jobs by next year, we dropped almost a million jobs since then.
Furthermore, every year we have about 700000 matriculants being added to the mix. Most of them will not be going to a tertiary institution; they will be struggling to find a job.
Statistics tell us that there is a 51% unemployment rate in the age group 17 to 30. The figures tell us that we are sitting on a powder keg that is ready to explode.
The much-trumpeted foreign investments into South Africa are good and should be encouraged, but most of the investments are setting up institutions driven by mechanisation and computerisation. This sort of growth doesn’t help to deal with our unemployment situation. We need to create jobs urgently.
The article says that there are 9.4million people who are unemployed but the Department of Labour director-general said the figure had risen to 9.8million. Furthermore, we are on the cusp of introducing a national minimum wage which the Treasury tells us will lead to further 750000 job losses.
The job seeker is being stymied at almost every turn and the harsh labour regulatory authorities are making it more difficult for small business to open their doors for more employees. My plea is for the government to deregulate small business, especially in the historically disadvantaged areas.
* Michael Bagraim is a labour lawyer.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media