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SA’s unemployment rate rises to 32.5% in Q4 2020

From 30.8% in the third quarter.
Image: Naashon Zalk/Bloomberg News.

South Africa’s unemployment rate jumped to a record high in the fourth quarter of last year, the statistics agency said on Tuesday, as the economy was further battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Statistics South Africa said the unemployment rate stood at 32.5% in the October-December quarter, meaning 7.2 million people were unemployed, up from 30.8% in the previous three months.

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The figure was the highest since the survey began in 2008.

“We are seeing that the proportion of people of working age, versus the proportion of those that are employed, is widening, meaning the market is not creating sufficient jobs to absorb enough (people),” Statistician General Risenga Maluleke told a news conference.

South Africa, which has the continent’s highest rate of Covid-19 infections, was in recession before it recorded its first coronavirus infection in March and has long suffered from extremely high levels of unemployment.

According to an expanded definition of unemployment that includes those discouraged from seeking work, 42.6% of the labour force was without work in the fourth quarter, amounting to 11.1 million people, Stats SA data showed.

Compared to a year ago, total employment fell by 1.4 million people, while the number of people who were not economically active rose by 1.5 million, the agency said.


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Keep voting anc. Viva anc!!!


This is a crisis of monumental proportions yet the chief frog-boiler and the oh so concerned EFF have nothing to say or suggest. The EFF probably thrives in this sad situation as it drives more desperately poor people to them.

If this isn’t a sign of a failed state then I ask what is?

This is a deepened worrying crisis. The longer this continues the worst it may become. I cannot fathom the stats around this ticking timebomb. The private sector and the state need to come together because if the government can not deliver and the private sector putting their interest first then ultimately there will be no solution to this problem. I t will result in further lawlessness and more poverty. Both need to work together we cannot have a situation whereby 2 work parallel to one another. It is pointless blaming the government when the private sector also has an interest in the direction. We have seen private corporations take on the position of state provision it has been happening in many parts of the world. The unemployment crisis may only bee resolved when both work to the benefit of the citizens. Private interest always remains profits public interest remains taxes, surely one cannot distrust each other. When all the skilled people have left and the government has no capacity and neither does the private sector too, who is going to pick up those pieces, myself as a tax payer, I highly doubt it. If they cannot work together then we might as well turn in to Argentina or Venezuela. Lessons are learnt from failed policies and private interest that accelerated failed policies.

The ex-Zuma mal-administration of ten years and the EFF talk of land grabs made the smart people with money emigrate.

Compounded by the people that encourage investing off shore.

End of comments.





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