High unemployment in SA is apartheid’s fault: Zuma

 ·17 May 2016

President Jacob Zuma says that unemployment is a problem globally, and is not uniquely a South African problem.

Answering questions in Parliament on Tuesday, Zuma said: “It is wrong to project it as a South African problem only.”

Members of the DA could be heard heckling in the background as the president spoke. “Nothing is your fault,” said one MP.

“It is because of the political historic problems of South Africa,” Zuma said.

“Part of the people of the unemployed are in fact unemployable because the Apartheid system deliberately did not allow the majority of this country to be skilled so that they are ready to work, they are ready to create jobs,” Zuma said to applause from members of the ruling party, the ANC.

“That is the problem we are faced with. There are people today, who are not even able to look for a job, given the development of technology. That is the problem of the fact that they were not skilled. That is why South Africa looks like it is more exaggerated in other places,” the president offered.

“It is a fact of history, it’s a political decision that was taken by the system racially saying that other people who were not white, they were not allowed to be given education and to be skilled.

“We are addressing the problem of the past, the problem of Apartheid. That is the problem,” he said.

According to the latest labour survey from Stats SA, South Africa’s unemployment rate is at its highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008. In the first quarter of 2016, the unemployment rate rose by 2.2 percentage points to 26.7% – reflecting a loss of 355,000 jobs.

According to the Democratic Alliance, when Zuma was appointed president in 2009, there were 6.7 million unemployed people in South Africa, compared to 8.9 million unemployed in 2016.

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