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SA News | 31 August 2023

Cabinet has welcomed the Quarterly Labour Force Survey results which show a slight decrease in the unemployment rate from 32.9% in the first quarter to 32.6% in the second quarter of 2023.

Briefing the media on the outcomes of a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said Cabinet is pleased with the 154 000 new jobs created in the second quarter, taking the number of employed persons to 16.3 million.

This as Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) recently released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) data.

“This is the seventh quarter of consecutive gains in employment inching South Africa closer to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic employment figure of 16.4 million.

“Cabinet has also noted the green shoots with the reduction of youth unemployment by 131,000 and an increase of 105,000 in the number of employed youth to 5.7 million,” the Minister said on Thursday.

Consumer Price Inflation (CPI)

Meanwhile, Cabinet further welcomed Stats SA data that showed that the annual Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) slowed to 4.7% in July 2023, from 5.4% in June 2023.

The annual inflation rate for goods was 5.5% for July 2023 from 6.3% in June 2023, whereas the inflation rate for services was 4.0% down from 4.5% in the same period.

Agro-Energy Fund

Meanwhile, Ntshavheni said Cabinet has noted the launch of a R1,21 billion Agro-Energy Fund.

The fund aims to support the agriculture and agribusiness sector to install alternative energy sources and continue with food, fibre and beverages production.

The fund was launched by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, collaboratively with the Land Bank earlier this week.

“The sector is one of the intensive energy users and critical for the stability of South Africa’s food security, export earnings and employment, thus making this government intervention vital to ensure sustainability.

“The Fund is inclusive and will support farming businesses of all scales in a blended finance approach, with the Land Bank managing the fund. The fund will also include all agriculture and agribusiness activities that are energy intensive,” Cabinet said.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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