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Sinesipho Schrieber | 16 August 2023

About 154,000 jobs were created from April to June 2023 but 7.9-million people remain unemployed.

While about 154,000 jobs were added from April to June this year, 7.9-million people remain unemployed in South Africa and many more jobs need to be created to address poverty.

This was the sentiment of job seekers and opposition parties as Stats SA released the latest unemployment figures. The statistics indicated a 0.3% drop in unemployment from 32.9% to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2023.

Rural provinces continued to dominate unemployment figures, with the Eastern Cape accounting for the largest number of unemployed people at 39.7%, followed by Mpumalanga with 38.4%, the North West 36.8% and the Free State 36.7%.

Gauteng was at 34.4%, Limpopo 31.6%, KwaZulu-Natal 31.0%, the Northern Cape 26.9% and the Western Cape 20.9%.

GOOD MP Brett Herron said though there was slight improvement in the employment rate, the number of those unemployed was still shocking. The government should consider a R999 basic income grant for the millions of unemployed, he said.

“These stubbornly high figures are a stark reminder many South Africans will remain trapped in poverty without any sort of daily income to survive on.

“There is no doubt South Africa needs an economy that can generate jobs, but in the meantime it needs a complete overhaul of its social security system, starting with the introduction of measures such as a basic income grant,” Herron said.

The death of unemployed mother Bongeka Buso and her children Oratile, Orabile and Anathi, from Butterworth, left many shocked. Daily Dispatch reported it was suspected Buso killed her children and herself because of financial distress. The family’s death highlighted the plight of unemployment.

Former acting Tshwane mayor and Transformation Alliance leader Abel Tau said: “We are not satisfied as they don’t even begin to scratch the surface. South Africa is the most unequal country, with most people living below the breadline. It is important for the government to prioritise economic stimulation for job creation.”

While opposition parties did not celebrate the small decrease, the ANC did.

“These figures provide a reliable basis for evaluating the effectiveness and influence of the ANC’s economic policies. Nevertheless, we are concerned about the decline in the manufacturing sector which experienced a 5.8% decrease due to electricity load-shedding. The ANC remains steadfast in prioritising energy security,” it said.

TimesLIVE previously reported Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi said more than 230,000 applications were received for 6,044 posts advertised on the Nasi iSpani recruitment programme.

Last month, Lesufi said more than 1.2-million applications were received for 8,000 jobs advertised in the programme.

“We received 1,230,092 applications. Of that total, 1,171,035 were received online. Through paper-based and mass centres we received 59,057 applications,” he said.

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


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