Cosatu not surprised by increase in SA's unemployment rate, blames policymaking

Stats SA announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate was at a record high of 30.8%.

FILE: Cosatu members strike against the country's high unemployment and the unbundling of Eskom on 13 February 2019. Picture: @_cosatu/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said the hike in the unemployment rate as announced by Stats SA on Thursday was expected given that the government continued to adopt “regressive and contractionary policies”.

Stats SA announced that the unemployment rate was at a record high of 30.8%.

Although the data has to be considered in the light of the disruptions in the economy and labour market that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, they nonetheless confirmed that the country is still struggling to create jobs.

Cosatu believes there could be no improvement in the figures - which translated to over 11 million people when measuring it through the expanded definition of unemployment – without an activist government that is capable and willing to transform economic relations.

“These numbers are not going to be changed without an activist government that is capable and willing to intervene effectively to transform economic relations,” said Cosatu’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla in a statement.

He added: “The South African government needs to take seriously the situation where new technologies are imposed with no regard for the local economy ,and with no consideration for the misery it brings to those who are pushed aside by it.

“This economic stagnation and persistent high unemployment is an indication of the failure of leadership and policymaking and it is a recipe for social unrest and the collapse of asocial order.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said overregulation and inflexible labour laws, as well as bargaining regulations, were the reasons millions of people were locked out of the job market.

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