Data released by Statistics South Africa earlier showed that the unemployment rate increased by 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2019 to 29 percent, the highest level since the first quarter of 2008.
The Southern Africa country’s unemployment rates have been increasing owing to a number of factors including slowed economic growth. In the first quarter of 2019, the economy contracted by 3.2 percent, the worst quarterly performance in a decade, this is according to the national statistics agency.
In the second quarter, however, SA’s economy experienced a modest recovery.
Most sectors including the banking, construction, and mining sectors were forced to cut jobs, most of whom cited the country’s tough economic environment as the reason for sacking employees. Big Corporates like the Standard Bank, Group Five, Absa, Multichoice, Sibanye-Stillwater, Tongaat Hulett, among many others announced their lay off plans.
Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) spokesperson Dumisani Mavundla told Times Select earlier that the number of firms approaching the council for retrenchments rose from 137 last year to 185 between April and June this year.
In a bid to tackle the unemployment crisis, the Cyril Ramaphosa-led government has unveiled plans to create 1 million jobs. In an economic policy paper released for public comment, the government proposed reforms that could create more jobs.
The paper, prepared by the National Treasury gave detailed structural reforms that could help implemented to boost SA’s economic growth thus creating more jobs. Specific programs as well as reforms to boost the economy and create jobs were included in the policy paper titled, ‘Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa.’
The treasury says that once implemented, these interventions and would boost economic growth by 2 percent and 3 percent.
“Government should implement a series of growth reforms that promote economic transformation, support labor-intensive growth, and create a globally competitive economy,” the Treasury noted.
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