Reality is millions of South Africans will remain in poverty for years

Business News

Tebogo Msimanga |

GOOD Secretary Secretary-General  Brett Herron says enthusiasm over the small gains made in addressing stubbornly high unemployment must be tempered by the cold reality that millions of South Africans will remain trapped in poverty for more years.

The official unemployment rate released by Statistics South Africa today, based on the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, stood at 32.7% in the fourth quarter of last year – a decline of 0.2% compared to the third quarter.

Herron added that this continues a trend of marginally better employment statistics through 2022 but the numbers are too small to meaningfully impact joblessness and poverty.

“The “real” or expanded unemployment rate, which includes t people who have given up looking for jobs, remains at a horrendous 42.6%. Particularly grim is the unemployment rate for those aged 15-34 years, at 45,3%.

What this means is more than 11 million people (7,8 million unemployed and 3,4 million discouraged work-seekers) woke without a job or proper income.

Herron further said modest economic growth (as announced in last week’s Budget), and a modest decline in the unemployment rate, can’t camouflage the urgent necessity to meet the basic needs of these millions of struggling compatriots.

South Africa needs an economy that can generate jobs, but in the meantime, it needs to expand the social security net by introducing measures such as a Basic Income Grant.

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