Unemployment in South Africa grows and the alarming stats released on June 23, highlighted how fear and sadness sit heavily on South Africans. Nobody expected outstanding figures, given the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. But, seeing the figures trending on social media helped bring desperation to the fore.
Unemployment in the first quarter rises to 30,1%
Stats SA pointed out that the increase since the last quarter of 2019 isn’t unexpected. According to them, each year sees a rise in unemployment between the two quarters. Explaining some of the figures, they noted that 147 000 more people were eligible for the workplace since the last quarter. That applied to the 15 to 64-year bracket.
But one worrying static hits the younger generation. “The unemployment rate for those aged 25-34 (37,3%) is more than double that of the 45-54 (17,5%) year olds.” Entry-level work seems very difficult in the country. Reflecting on the sad truth of that, one person on Twitter commented, “It is sad to see our parents crying with tears of joy during our graduation ceremonies knowing that nothing will change our family background because of #unemployment.”
South Africa’s unemployment rate increase by 1,0 percentage point to 30,1% in Q1:2020 compared to Q4:2019. The unemployment rate usually increases between Q4 and Q1 each year.
— Stats SA (@StatsSA) June 23, 2020
Hit in the pocket reactions
Naturally, business and economy pundits examine the figures and come up with various forecasts. But for the person hard-hit by lack of employment, fear for the future becomes obvious. Notably, the second quarter will probably reflect the fallout of the coronavirus shutdowns. Everyone dreams of a better future. But some folk seem rather desperate as their frustration grows. Notably, in recent days, the disturbing news came that people who work for Edgars and Jet could also expect to lose their jobs.
It seems that hope dies for a lot of people. Similarly to other tweets, one person noted, “South Africa doesn’t have a plan to combat #unemployment. We still have a long way to go and we will be here for a long time.” Others blame the government and politicians. This person complained, “SA is among developing countries in the world. Everybody would have been employed if we don’t have thugs such as politicians who are enriching themselves every day. I mean almost every politician is rich..”
#unemployment GBV, corruption, corruption, coronavirus, stolen R350, no jobs, poverty, unemployment…… South Africa 🧨
— kgalabane (@Popla330i) June 23, 2020
Grassroots people don’t care to analyze who got pensioned off, who died, or who entered the workplace. All they know is that unemployment figures seem unacceptably high and hope dwindles for the future. What do you think? Did you ever sit unemployed? Sound off in the comments below.
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