New statistics published by South Africa’s government shows just how dire the country’s employment position has become.
The government’s employment agency, the Public Employment Service (PES), has placed as few as 2.3% of those registered under its purview in the past financial year.
In a reply to a DA parliamentary question, the Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, stated that 618,570 unemployed South Africans registered under the PES, with only 14,634 being successfully placed in full time employment.
“This means more than 600,000 unemployed South Africans placed their faith in the Department of Labour to provide access to any form of a job opportunity. Sadly, this has just become another costly but ineffective government intervention that is failing South Africans on a daily basis,” said Ian Ollis, DA shadow minister of labour.
“What is even more alarming is that the Department of Labour’s target for placement for this year was a measly 20,000,” he said.
“In a country in which 8.4 million South Africans remain trapped in unemployment, this programme has horribly missed the mark, and its impact is negligible.”
The DA noted that the primary function of the PES is “to register unemployed and under-employed work-seekers, to equip them with employment counselling to access employment, to seek and register opportunities for the absorption of work-seekers, to match them with opportunities and to refer them to employers and other institutions for potential placement and to access unemployment benefits.”
It said that of the 128 labour centres around the country which offer Public Employment Services, many are run down, dilapidated and inaccessible.
The DA’s findings therefore showed that each centre has a duty to place only 156 candidates annually, and only placed 114 people over the past year.
“Every South African must be afforded the opportunity to find a job, which brings with it freedom, dignity, independence, and an opportunity to better one’s life. Any obstacle to such opportunity must be removed with immediate effect,”