A jobless South African every 112 seconds

The Democratic Alliance has launched a new campaign focusing on economic growth and job creation, with the unemployment rate currently above 25%, while economic activity has ground to a halt.

“We have shown where we govern that our plans and policies create jobs and reduce unemployment. Where we govern, unemployment is the lowest in South Africa,” said DA leader, Mmusi Maimane.

He said that since Jacob Zuma became President, over 1.8 million South Africans have joined the ranks of the unemployed.

“That means that every day President Zuma remains in office, as he and his uncaring government preside over an ever worsening economic crisis, 774 more people join the ranks of the jobless. Every day.

“As we speak, 8.4 million of our countrymen and women are without a job. And without hope, dignity and freedom,” Maimane said.

The political party on Thursday (7 January) unveiled a billboard in the centre of Johannesburg ‘that will serve as a reminder to us of how many of our fellow citizens lose hope every day by joining the ranks of the unemployed’.

Read: A way to combat South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis

The billboard contains a live ticker that will start on 1,842,852 and count up by 1 new jobless person every 112 seconds, to show the total of 774 people that become jobless in every 24 hour cycle under the leadership of Zuma’s ANC government.

“Last year, President Zuma stood up in Parliament and said, with a straight face, that if there is a government that is concerned about jobs in our country, it is this government.

“Unfortunately, South Africa’s reality exposes the cruel lie this statement is. Since Jacob Zuma became President, over 1.8 million South Africans have joined the ranks of the unemployed. His is not a jobs government,” Maimane said.

The DA stated that more than a third of South Africans of working age are either unemployed or have simply given up looking for work.


5 step plan

The DA said it has a five-step plan that if implemented would immediately tackle the economic crisis and create millions of jobs.

Firstly, it aims to invest in energy, transport and internet connectivity.

“This means dismantling the disastrous Eskom monopoly, and opening the grid to a far more balanced mix of power suppliers. It also means walking away from the unaffordable and unnecessary nuclear deal,” Maimane said.

Secondly, it called for an improvement in education quality and outcomes. “We need to give more South Africans the education and skills they need to get a job.”

Thirdly, Parliament should reform labour laws to create fairness for workers and employers – and create more opportunities for job-seekers by making it easier for businesses to hire.

Fourthly, the DA called for incentives for job creation through a real youth wage subsidy and government supported apprenticeship and internship programmes.

“And finally, we need to increase support for small businesses. In our current low-growth environment, large enterprises cannot create more jobs. It is the small and medium enterprises that can create jobs on the massive scale we need,” Maimane said.

The DA called for the introduction of tax incentives for business mentors, adding that BEE points allocation should be changed to include skills development and job creation.

“Let us empower entrepreneurs and create a nation of employers,” Maimane said.

“DA governments invest heavily in energy, transport and connectivity, hire people who can do the job, not friends and family, attract investment to create more local jobs, help local people start small businesses and work with businesses to set up internship opportunities so that people can get skills and work experience,” he said.

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A jobless South African every 112 seconds