Finance Minister Declares SA’s Unemployment Rate A National Emergency


Joblessness is thriving in South Africa and the country’s Finance Minister has declared the plight, a national emergency.

Pravin Gordhan made the proclamation while he was addressing a youth employment conference in Stellenbosch.

According to the minister, unskilled and unemployed South Africans have constituted a national emergency.

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He said, “youth without jobs and youth without training is not the kind of South Africa we want.”

“This does constitute a national emergency,” Gordhan stated as he called on South Africans who have cooperatives with work opportunities to offer them and keep the young South Africans engaged.

“We have lots of them in South Africa. If we organize them in the right kind of way we will not have young people sitting in despair,” added the Minister.

Acknowledging that the legacy of apartheid prevented many young people from attaining their dreams, Gordhan called on private and public businesses to assist in the creation of jobs for the youths.

The jobs he argued, will help the young citizens become productive.

“…Young  people can firstly, know where to get to, get into it, learn from it and acquire skills that are required and come out from it as a productive South African.”

Being productive citizens, he said, will give young South African dignity.

Meanwhile, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said government is hard at work to create 11 million jobs by 2030. That, she said, will reduce the unemployment rate to 6 percent.

Motshekga remarked that the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is playing a significant role in responding to the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

Motshekga said: “this fact was confirmed in the recently completed EPWP Social Sector 2014/15 Evaluation report by Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. (The) report found that ‘Over the past five years on average 71% of participants were women and 51% were young people’.

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That, according to the minister, represents a huge boost in efforts to fight the scourge of unemployment among the youth.