The Eastern Cape unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, with a fractional reduction of just 0.3 percentage points, from 42.4% to 42.1%.
The Democratic Alliance welcomes the fact that 132 000 additional jobs were created in the province and that unemployment seems to have declined in rural areas. Still, these gains pale in comparison to the need for work in this province.
There is a hand around the throat of our province, strangling its lifeblood away. One of the fingers of that hand is the unemployment crisis we face.
The ANC needs a significant policy shift away from state-centred development to free up the economy for the private sector to prosper and create jobs.
Billions of rands continue to be poured into failed SOES instead of economic infrastructure that will grow our economy. This includes our province’s roads, water, and electricity networks.
We need to properly upskill our learners for the current job market. This includes getting the basics right, such as creating an enabling environment for them to learn.
The R100 million unspent education infrastructure grant is a terrible tragedy that destroys educational opportunities and directly impacts the skill levels of future job seekers.
We need to quicken the pace of job creation if we are to put this province on a growth trajectory. To do this, we need to start at the coalface, with local government, and ensure basic service delivery is prioritised. Businesses cannot thrive if there is no water or electricity.
The DA will continue to fight for the people of this province to ensure that they have the opportunity to find work and dignity.