The catastrophe of unemployment is so urgent to address, that we will not be standing on the rooftops telling this very stubborn government, we told you so!
Today, on the eve of yet another important day in the economic calendar of South Africa, StatsSA issued a report telling us what we already know: the crisis is getting worse by the day, year in and year out.
The myth that President Cyril Ramaphosa can fix the economy is now exploded, as unemployment has now reached 10.3 million of our abled bodied South Africans. They are desperate to get jobs but cannot. A staggering 38,8% of our people are unemployed, and a frightening numbers of our youth – 58% of those between ages of 15 – 24 – are out of work.
Between December 2008 – the lowest rate of unemployment this century – and September 2019, unemployment worsened from 28,7% to 38.5%. Since Ramaphosa took over as in February 2018, unemployment worsened from 9.2 million (36,3%) to today’s 10.3 million.
Only a mere 1 million jobs were created in the formal sector between 2008 and 2019. In the same period, the labour force grew by a 5.9 million people or 600 000 every year.
In many countries, statistics like this lead to civil war, or at minimum, the government will fall and millions occupy the streets to demand change. We have seen similar protests the last two months – against economic injustice and deficient governance – in Santiago, Quito, Lima, La Paz, Port au Prince, Algiers, Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad, Amsterdam, Moscow, Hong Kong and Jakarta.
South Africa is ripe for revolt. All over Africa there have been growing protests against injustices, economic and political.
Confronted with the evidence of government’s incompetence in solving unemployment, the patience of South Africans is running out. We will join the people of Algeria and Sudan who this year demanded that bad governments step down – and won!
Tomorrow the Minister of Finance will read the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. He will repeat the same things that have been said by even apartheid Finance Ministers, about the need to tighten our belts, since at least 1990. Nothing will change!
As the crisis deepens we are calling on every member of parliament to answer these questions:
SAFTU is flabbergasted that this is allowed to continue. SAFTU calls on its members to stand ready to wage war to confront a situation that now witnesses poor and working people’s standards of living continue to deteriorate, leaving us even worse off than during the apartheid era when it comes to poverty, inequality and unemployment.