By Bobby Stevenson (MPL), Shadow MEC for Finance:
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Quarter 3 of 2015 was released by Statistics South Africa today.
The continued high levels of unemployment in the Eastern Cape offer a bleak future for matriculants and university students who are looking for jobs. The official unemployment rate in the Eastern Cape increased from 29. 1% in the second quarter to 29. 2% in the third quarter, according to the latest Labour Force Survey of Stats SA. Tragically, this means 4 000 more households are without an income.
The Eastern C ape also has the highest expanded rate of unemployment, at 42. 5%, signifying the lack of hope and opportunity that this province should be showcasing.
A job is not simply about work, it’s about dignity and being able to put food on your family’s table.
The Nelson Mandela Bay has the highest official unemployment rate of the all the metros increasing in the last quarter from 33. 2% to 34. 3% in this quarter. Buffalo City has come down from 28. 8% to 26. 4%. Nelson Mandela Bay is simply not the engine of economic growth that it should be and is in urgent need of a turnaround-strategy.
The provincial government must take drastic steps to address unemployment. They can start by getting rid of cadre employment and putting the right people in the right jobs. Cadre deployment and corruption is the thief of opportunity.
What needs to change is the climate for job creation. What is needed is a highly efficient civil service, functioning municipalities and cutting corruption and red tape as well as cost effective infrastructure development.
The current student protests highlight how angry and disenchanted a sector of our society can become over the lack of opportunity. Unless the rising tide of unemployment can be turned around, it will not be long before other sectors of our society take to the streets in order to demand a better life that should rightfully be theirs.
The DA believes that this province can be a place of rising opportunity for all its people if the right policies and people are put into place.