The latest unemployment figures, just released in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey statistics, overshadow Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s State of the Province Address.
The provincial unemployment figures remain the worst in the country, shooting up from 45,8% in the 3rd quarter to 47,9% in the 4th quarter, with the expanded unemployment figure also up, now at 52,4%, from 51,2% in the 3rd quarter.
The report shows that a further 148,000 people joined the unemployed in the province between October and December 2020.
Unemployment in the rural parts of the Eastern Cape has also deepened, with the expanded unemployment rate now at 58,7%.
These figures clearly show that the interventions by the provincial government, to date, are not working.
It is simply unacceptable that one out of every two people in our province, capable of working, cannot find employment.
Premier Mabuyane needs to ensure that his words are backed by action, and that his job creation initiatives are built on the rock of good governance. He needs to ensure that there is a strong foundation of consequence management, so that those who undermine the work being done are held to account.
If we are to attract investment and grow our economy, we need to build a capable state in this province. A capable state is a government that works, which creates the right environment for the private sector to operate and create jobs.
This means the provision of reliable electricity and water supplies, as well as a functioning transport infrastructure network, and the cutting of red tape.
We need a government that is forward-thinking and innovative, which will rebuild the Eastern Cape and get it back on track.