16 May 2019

South Africa: Jobless and Hopeless - Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures

analysis

South Africa's sixth post-apartheid administration under President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to hit the ground running in relooking at how to address poverty and inequality. Conventional solutions to unemployment are simply not working, and it is time to start looking at non-conventional means.

The mantra of addressing the triple ills of poverty, unemployment and inequality in South Africa held by the ruling party and the State is that growth to the economy will trickle down to uplift the poor from their destitution.

The National Development Plan has a great goal of eliminating poverty and reducing unemployment to 14% in 2020 and 6% in 2030, and ever-so-slightly reducing inequality. The NDP is built on a growth projection of 5%.

But our growth projection was just reduced by the IMF to 1.2% for 2019.

The Q1 unemployment figures were released on 14 May 2019, and tell a very scary story. Timed to come out just after the election, they really should be a cheat sheet on how we restore the social cohesion in the country and belief in the ruling party.

Statistics and definitions can be misleading. We cannot afford to be comforted by words. The unofficial rate which went up to 27.6%...

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