Johannesburg – South Africa’s unemployment rate rose from 25.2 percent from 24.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the spokesperson of South Africa’s largest workers union COSATU said in a statement.
COSATU’s Patrick Craven added that “ It is absolutely demoralising to see that if this trend persists we shall not only fail to meet the government’s target of creating five million new jobs between 2010 and 2020, but end up with a net loss of jobs over those 10 years”.
“The Statistics South Africa Quarterly Labour Force Survey has revealed that the number of unemployed persons increased by 100 000 people to 4.6 million between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. This took the country’s official unemployment rate to 25.2 percent from 24.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012”, read part of the statement.
Craven also added that “the more realistic expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, increased to 36.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013 – the highest since 2008. This is a massive waste of human resources, which could be mobilised for development”.
Unemployment is regarded as one of the serious challenges facing South Africa’s young democracy and this has seen the ruling ANC facing attacks from unemployed youths.
The labour union said “it rejects interventions in the economy that focus on low value added service such as travel and tourism, and call centre operations. This is an incorrect route to follow in order to address poverty and inequality”.
COSATU has warned that it “ will consistently campaign for policies that encourage manufacturing, including a significant cut in interest rates and the depreciation of the rand to promote new investment in job-creating industries, add value to our raw minerals and to make South African exports competitive on a global scale”.