Gordhan concerned about unemployment

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan arrives in Parliament ahead of his Budget Speech on 27 February 2013. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday said the country's broad unemployment rate currently stands at more than 30 percent.

This emerged in the minister's 2013 budget speech in Parliament, Cape Town.

The minister said the country’s high unemployment rate is the most pressing challenge facing government.

There are more than four million jobless people with a further 2.3 million categorised as discouraged. This includes those who are no longer looking for work.

The crisis in the mining and agriculture sectors could aggravate the unemployment rate.

According to Gordhan, the increase in the minimum wage for farmworkers could result in job losses.

From March 1, the new minimum wage will be set at R105 a day.

No direct mention was made of the Youth Wage Subsidy.

Instead, he proposed a youth employment tax incentive.

“When the actual employment takes place and when workers are actually paid, then through the PAYE system, employers will get some money back.”

Gordhan added moderate employment growth was expected over the next three years.

To download Gordhan’s full budget speech click here.