Disastrous Unemployment Rate Points to Urgent Need for Economic Policy Change

ActionSA believes South Africa’s sustained disastrously high unemployment rate – with the broad unemployment rate now at 42.4%, and the youth unemployment rate for those aged up to 24 years at a catastrophic 71.2% – highlights the urgent need for the government to change its approach to the economy and find new solutions to create jobs and lift people out of poverty.

Despite repeated promises to ignite the economy since 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government have failed to create jobs. Instead, President Ramaphosa’s economic policies have seen the largest expansion of South Africa’s unemployment rate in recent years, with a possible recession underway due to the country’s increasing levels of load shedding and malfunctioning logistics system.

The growing youth unemployment rate is a crisis with nearly three out of four recent school-leavers (those below the age of 25) being unemployed in South Africa today. This means that an entire generation is pushed towards state dependency through social grants instead of being able to empower themselves.

This is a combined result of the economic slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, endemic Stage 6 loadshedding, and an education system that has left 8 out of 10 Grade 4 learners functionally illiterate according to a study released today.

ActionSA believes that the unemployment figures released by StatisticsSA, through the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), which paints grim picture of a 11,937 million South Africans without work, should galvanise South Africans towards unseating the ANC and finding sustainable solutions to the country’s ongoing jobs crisis.

Now, more than ever, we need a solutions-based alternative to the failed policies of the ANC which have rendered our people unemployed. ActionSA, a party born out of a consultative process in the People’s Dialogue three years ago, is committed to providing this alternative.

ActionSA will over the next couple of months embark on a wide-scale engagement process ahead of our Policy Conference from 12 – 14 September 2023. This will include expert-led roundtables, extensive internal consultation, and broad public engagement. Last week, we launched an online Public Policy Engagement process to allow all South Africans to share their ideas of how we can fix South Africa together.

We are calling on South Africans to help us formulate an economic plan of action that will free South Africa from the ANC’s disastrous approach, that will create jobs, and improve the lives of millions of South Africa by sharing their thoughts at actionsa.org.za/policy.

South Africans are not only hungry for change; they are hungry for a solutions-based alternative to the failed political establishment. ActionSA is committed to providing solutions to the most pressing concerns of South Africans to provide an alternative that will fix this country.