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Cosatu, opposition on unemployment stats: Ramaphosa is failing

Stats SA announced that the official unemployment rate has jumped to 29% for the second quarter of this year from 27.6% in the previous quarter.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday said the latest unemployment figures showed that President Cyril Ramaphosa was failing young people.

Stats SA announced that the official unemployment rate has jumped to 29% for the second quarter of the year from 27.6% in the previous quarter.

This was the highest in more than a decade.

Stats SA said there were 6.7 million South Africans who were unemployed and if you added those who have given up on looking for work, the number jumped to a staggering 10.2 million.

Statistician-general Risenga Maluleke said young people were the most vulnerable.

“Unemployment for young people, especially those who are aged between 15 to 24 is above 50%. The graduate unemployment rate is 33.7% and that one of those with less than matric is 58.9%.”

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla said this was an indictment on Ramaphosa.

“What the president is saying to these young unemployed people is that there are no jobs in the new horizon and you are saying only two million jobs can be created in a decade,” he said.

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE URGENTLY

Economists and political parties described the unemployment stats as a catastrophe, saying something needed to be done urgently.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were putting the blame squarely on Ramaphosa.

The EFF said under Ramaphosa’s leadership, the economy would continue to shrink, poverty would deepen, and the poor would get poorer.

The DA said the president's administration had no clear plan to turn around the economy.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the unemployment crisis has turned into an unemployment catastrophe.