Government fails to stem jobs bloodbath in Eastern Cape

Issued by Bobby Stevenson, MPL
DA Leader in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

The Eastern Cape provincial government has failed to stem the tide of the jobs bloodbath across the Eastern Cape, as a further 66,000 jobs were lost in the three months between April and June.

The latest unemployment statistics show the province’s unemployment figures have shot up 3.3% quarter on quarter, from 43,8% to 47,1%, the worst in the country. The province’s expanded unemployment rate has reached a staggering 53%!

Even more devastating is the expanded unemployment figures for rural parts of the province, where 60,2% of individuals are unemployed.

This catastrophic situation is driving more people into abject poverty and causing untold hardship and suffering.

If we are to attract investment and grow our economy, we need a government that works, which creates the right environment for the private sector to operate and create jobs.

This needs to start at a local government level, with municipalities providing reliable electricity and water, as well as a functioning transport infrastructure network, and the cutting of red tape.

My greatest fear is that, if we don’t rapidly fix our collapsing local government, we will experience an exodus of employers, such as has been seen in other provinces.

We will never fix local government while cadre deployment is still being practiced.

DA-led governments have been leading by example, through good governance, investing in public services and infrastructure and assisting businesses through cutting red tape.

If the people of the Eastern Cape want to overcome this jobs crisis, they need to choose a government that will prioritise economic growth. The DA difference will bring real change to the Eastern Cape.

We need to put measures in place that will turn this province around, so that it can be a place of opportunity, not of misery.