The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) has released two new maps looking at unemployment in South Africa’s most productive province.
Gauteng is South Africa’s economic powerhouse, contributing just over a third to the country’s economic output in 2016, according to provincial gross domestic product (GDP) figures compiled by StatsSA.
If the province decided to split off and become its own nation, it would find itself inside the top 10 economies in Africa.
The GCRO’s Map 1 presents the ‘expanded’ unemployment rate using StatsSA’s 2011 census data and its Small Area Layer (SAL) – which provides a higher level of detail than ward-based mapping.
“The expanded unemployment rate is different from the strict unemployment rate, calculated as the ratio of the number of unemployed, excluding discouraged work seekers, to the total number of the economically active persons or labour force (the number of employed and unemployed),” it explained.
“The provincial median unemployment rate was 27% as in 2011. The map only shows those areas that had unemployment rates worse than the median in 2011. It reveals high unemployment rates in townships, some areas adjacent to townships, and various areas such as Bronkhorstspruit and Winterveldt on the edges of the province.”
Whereas Map 1 shows where unemployment rates are highest, Map 2 shows where unemployed people are concentrated.
Unsurprisingly the greatest aggregation of the unemployed people are concentrated in townships and some inner city areas.
“The square kilometre areas with the highest concentration of unemployed people are observed in townships such as Alexandra and Diepsloot and contain between 4,965 and 8,758 people.”
“The map also reveals, in contrast with what seemed to be the message from Map 1, that some of the areas outside townships, which showed patterns of high unemployment rates, have less than 72 unemployed people per square kilometre.”
“In other words, the rate of unemployment in these areas is disturbingly high, but there is a low concentration of unemployed people compared to townships,” it said.