While the national unemployment rate remains unchanged at 29,1%, and six of the nine provinces recorded decreases in unemployment, the Eastern Cape continues to haemorrhage jobs, with unemployment growing to a staggering 39,5%, the Democratic Alliance said.
“The expanded unemployment rate is also up, to 47,7%. Not only is the province the worst performing in terms of job creation, it has the highest unemployment rates in the country.
“What this means is that almost one out of every two people in the province who are capable of working, cannot find employment or have given up looking for employment,” said Bobby Stevenson, DA Chief Whip in the Eastern Cape Legislature.
“It is no surprise then that people are leaving this province in droves to seek work elsewhere. Families should not have to abandon their homes to earn a living.
“They must be given the opportunity to build their lives, raise their families and put down deep roots in the province of their birth.”
Stevenson said that these figures are contained in the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Quarter 4 of 2019, which was released by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday.
“The statistics show that unemployment in the province has risen by 3 percentage points from the 3rd Quarter, which is up from 36,5% to 39,5%, and up by 3,4 percentage points year on year (from 36,1%),” he added.
“The expanded unemployment rate has risen by 1.2 percentage points from Q3 to Q4, and up 0,9 percentage points year-on-year.
“These figures make it clear that the current strategies around job creation in the province are not working.
“The right climate for job creation needs to be created if we are to turn the Eastern Cape around.”
According to Stevenson, this means:
- Ensuring that there is policy certainty to encourage investors
- Paying suppliers within 30 days, so small businesses don’t go bankrupt
- Fixing our education and health system, as these are internationally recognised as pillars for growing the economy
- Getting failing municipalities back on track so that there is a regular water and electricity supply
- Allowing municipalities to source electricity from independent power producers
- Eradicating maladministration and corruption that scares off investors
- Bringing the crime rate down
- Getting our infrastructure up to speed
- Diversifying our economy
“We need an economy that puts a job in every home and builds a province where there is rising opportunity for all.”