EC jobs bloodbath continues

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of 2017 (July to September) was released by Statistics South Africa on Tuesday.

The Eastern Cape remains the province with the highest unemployment rate in the country. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, released by Statistics South Africa today, unemployment in the province increased by 1,1 percentage points, from 34,4% in the second quarter (April to June 2017) to 35,5% in the third quarter (July to September 2017).

This means that there is now a total of 781 000 people unemployed in our province according to the official unemployment rate.  When one adds the number of discouraged work seekers of 360 000, it takes the total to 1 141 000 people.

The catastrophic management of our economy is exposed by the sheer horror of these statistics.

We are paying the price not only of the national economic meltdown but also because of political divisions in the province.  ANC congresses, where chairs are thrown around instead of ideas, does not promote the climate for investment that we need for job creation.

Year-on-year, unemployment has gone up an alarming 7,3 percentage points, resulting in an additional 216 000 people losing their jobs, of which 38 000 were in the last quarter.   Our expanded rate of unemployment – those people who have given up looking for a job — has increased from 41,3 % in July-September 2016 to 45,3 % for the same period this year, the highest in the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people cannot put bread on the tables of their families and the numbers are only getting worse.  The hardship of unemployment is wreaking havoc amongst families as they battle to pay for schooling, food and medical expenses.

Unless we get the politics right, we will not get our economy right.  This is clear from the ongoing infighting in the ANC and the recent medium-term budget policy statement delivered by the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba in Parliament last Wednesday.

We need to put our country and our province on a new path that will result in jobs being created and corruption eradicated. We need to fix our education system, our roads, get rid of the red tape, fire failing officials and above all, we need political leadership that can win the trust of investors and the people alike.

A DA-provincial government will do just that. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Finance