- South Africa is facing a major problem - unemployment
- This is an issue that plagues the nation as the economy struggles to maintain stability
- Briefly.co.za checks if political parties are geared towards solving this issue or if the cries for help are being ignored
South Africans are struggling with a high cost of living and an even higher unemployment rate.
With political parties in full swing ahead of the May elections, one needs to consider if any of them actually have a decent track record as far as this key issue is concerned.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at the facts behind the matter:
African National Congress
The ruling party has enjoyed a long reign in South Africa. With President Cyril Ramaphosa doing his best to ensure his successful reappointment as the head of the state, one can only wonder if the ANC has actually kept one of its key election promises - job creation.
In the party's election manifesto, the ANC pledged that 6 million work opportunities would be created over the next five years, but don't be fooled into thinking that this is a permanent placement.
When the ANC talks about 'work opportunities', what they really mean is that workers will temporarily be employed by state projects.
Each time a person is employed in this manner by the state, the ANC counts it as a new opportunity, so the figures may well be distorted by people who frequently take advantage of the situation.
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The leading opposition party was right when it claimed that South Africa has the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, but what do they intend to do about it?
The DA claims to be able to put 'a job in every home', boasting that areas where they lead have the 'lowest expanded unemployment' rates in the country; however, this could walk hand-in-hand with the fact that the party controls the largest economic hubs in SA.
The party claims that they have managed to provide more than half a million jobs in the Western Cape alone.
However, this is a drop in the ocean when compared to the total number of unemployed citizens in the country.
Economic Freedom Fighters
‘Our land and jobs now!’ boast the 'Red Berets' on T-shirts and posters. During their manifesto launch, the party highlighted unemployment as a key issue:
”Close to 40% of South Africans who need jobs are unemployed, meaning that more than nine million South Africans who need jobs and are capable of working cannot find employment.”
AfricaCheck, an organisation committed to holding key figures accountable, confirmed this statement to be true.
This sentiment features heavily in the EFF election campaign, with Deputy-President Floyd Shivambu commenting that:
"Historically – and now – the most effective way to create jobs is to build sustainable industries to produce things that people consume on a daily basis and involve people in all stages of production."
But which of these parties has actually been able to solve this issue?
In a nutshell, none of them. Citizens Surveys recently conducted research into the issue, with Director Reza Omar commenting:
“ We asked which political parties are best at solving these issues, and we go through the problems facing SA… No political party, none, is associated with solving unemployment. So none of the political parties can speak credibly about solving unemployment in South Africa.”
The Daily Maverick reported that 73% of adult South Africans highlight unemployment as the most critical issue in the country.
Reza Omar's comment on the issue sums the situation up with perfect eloquence as we hurtle towards Election Day:
"So when the political parties do not have credibility in creating jobs, none, well that is a problem in and of itself.”
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