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Unemployment statistics mask the real level of suffering in South Africa

Ml Muhammad Bham |
18 May 2023 | 18:00 CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: SABC News

Unemployment statistics mask the actual level of suffering in South Africa, according to Rise Mzansi.

The latest data released by Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate has risen slightly from 32.7% to 32.9% in the first quarter of the year. There are now a staggering 7.9 million jobless people in South Africa.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Rise Mzansi’s Songezo Zibi said that the situation was tragic because they usually got a narrow definition of unemployment, i.e. only people actively seeking employment. When the number of people, who have lost all hope of finding work, is included, the number of unemployed jumps from 42.9% to 43% in the first quarter.

When taking into account the unemployment rate by gender, age group and province, the results show how tragic the numbers are – 51% of women make up the unemployed, 4.9 million people under the age of 34 are unemployed, and the total people unemployed in a province like the North West is a staggering 54%.

In the NEET, Not Employed in Education or Training category, there are 4.9 million people, but this number correlates with a number that the Department of Basic Education provided to parliament in October last year, which was 48% of all children start school but never finish school. Unemployed people who never finish Matric is just over 48%.

89% of unemployed people either have only a Matric or don’t have a Matric, which points to the kind of interventions the country needs to make to start rolling back this wave of unemployment.

Presently, the schemes put out for the government are designed for those who have Matric or higher, but the unemployment problem is at its worst for people who don’t have Matric at all.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Yusuf Moosagir here


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