Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature:
Statistics on the long-term unemployment trends released by STATS SA today, revealed that the prevalence of long-term unemployment increased in the Free State over the last seven years under Ace Magashule’s premiership.
Long-term unemployment refers to those individuals who have been unemployed for more than one year.
In 2008, the prevalence on long-term unemployment in the Free State stood at 57.1%, seven years later in 2014 it now stands at 69.9%. The second worst performing province after Mpumalanga.
The statistics show that out of a total working age population of 1,858,000 million people only 755,000 thousand people in the province are employed, down from 834,000 people who worked in 2008.
Out of 399,000 unemployed people searching for employment in the Free State, almost 280,000 people have been searching for more than one year. More shocking is that 149,226 persons in the province have been searching for a job for more than five years.
Worst still is that 627,000 people in the Free State of working age are not economically active in anyway.
It is evident that the Free State province under the administration of the ANC-led government of Premier Ace Magashule continues with its socio-economic downward spiral unabated.
In the Free State, more people are unemployed, more people are trapped in an oppressive cycle of poverty and more people are being left behind with no sense of hope by a failing government.
The ANC does not have the policies to address this socio-economic crisis. The people of the Free State want jobs, not hand-outs.
The DA is the only party in South Africa that has the political will and the proven policies and programmes that would create jobs, drive back unemployment and narrow the inequality gap.