Provincial job gains wiped out in devastating fourth quarter

Provincial job gains wiped out in devastating fourth quarter

The recent gains in reducing unemployment in the Eastern Cape have been wiped out in a devastating fourth quarter of 2023, with 111,000 jobs lost between October and December.

The latest quarterly labour force survey results, released by Stats SA today, showed the province was the worst-performing in the country, with unemployment rising to 41.9%, a staggering 3.2% increase compared to the previous quarter.

Millions of residents are suffering the worst cost of living crisis in our recent history. Hundreds of thousands are suffering hunger, particularly vulnerable children, while businesses continue to bear the brunt of rolling blackouts, which cost jobs.

Job-shedding, load shedding, and water shedding do not need to be an everyday occurrence.

In the Eastern Cape, we need to establish the foundations of sustainable economic growth that creates jobs. We need to create the right conditions for the private sector to flourish.

This means fixing our crumbling electricity and sewerage networks through partnerships with the private sector. It means ending rolling blackouts by allowing municipalities and industries to generate electricity in large quantities.

Our road network needs to be maintained and, in places, rebuilt so tourism and our rural economy can flourish.

The violent crime in this province is damaging the economy, wiping out an estimated 10% of the provincial GDP every year.

The efficiency of our civil service needs to be radically improved through merit-based appointments and ending cadre deployment.

The dysfunctional nature of the Eastern Cape needs to be replaced by a capable state. That takes a government with the political will and drive to make it happen.

Only in this way will we grow our economy and lift people out of poverty and into jobs.

The dream of rising prosperity for all does not need to be the nightmare it has become. Help is on the way, and the DA will rescue the Eastern Cape.