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Load shedding contributing to unemployment rate, says economist

Stats South Africa has announced that the country’s unemployment rate has remained at 29.1%.

Joburg business owners close up shop as Eskom implements load shedding. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With employment figures still at their highest levels since 2008, a direct link has been drawn between poorly performing sectors and the recent load shedding.

Stats South Africa has announced that the country’s unemployment rate has remained at 29.1%.

Stats SA said trade, manufacturing and utilities were the biggest contributors to job losses.

Economist Nesan Nair said load shedding may have been the main cause of layoffs in those sectors.

“A cost-effective and reliable power supply is the lifeblood of an economy. People are not going to build new factories in an environment where electricity supply is not reliable.”

Economist Azar Jamine added: “I think it’s general, as economic growth has been abysmal. The environment employers find themselves is not conducive to take on new workers.”

Both economists are doubtful that there will be a significant change in employment figures in the near future.

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