Free State shows highest percentage increase in job losses
31 July 2018
The DA is shocked to learn that the Free State recorded the largest percentage increases in unemployment in the country, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the Second Quarter of 2018 released by Statistics South Africa today.
It is a real crisis that an additional 26 000 Freestaters lost their jobs during the past three months of this year. This brings the official unemployment rate to 34.4%, up by 1.6% and the expanded definition of unemployment, which includes unemployed persons who have given up looking for work altogether, to 40.1% up by 1.7%.
Quite plainly, these expanded figures show that out of a working age population of 1 316 million people in the Free State, more than 528 000 persons are jobless. This places a terrible socio-economic burden on Free State families that are already struggling to make ends meet.
The agricultural sector, which is a key economic driver in the Free State, recorded the largest number of job losses with 20 000 over the last three months. Clearly this industry continues to struggle under hostile conditions with high input costs, the political threat of expropriation without compensation and a violent rural crime wave. Premier Sisi Ntombela’s assertion that this crucial sector should drive economic growth and job creation in the Free State is but a pipedream under these circumstances.
Rampant unemployment in the Free State is directly linked to the ANC’s disastrous economic policies at both national and provincial level. The general poor governance of the ANC and a collapse in service delivery further add to unemployment as it scares off both local and international investors.
The DA’s economic policy is geared towards attracting investment, and coupled with our good governance and effective service delivery programmes, this created an environment that is conducive to economic development that creates jobs. In 2019 a vote for the DA will be a vote for jobs. The people of the Free State will have the opportunity to bring total economic change to this province. Let us walk it together to employment and prosperity for all.
Issued by Roy Jankielsohn, Leader of the Official Opposition in the Free State Provincial Legislature, 31 July 2018