Fin24

SA unemployment 'exceptional'

2012-08-28 12:30

Johannesburg - The South African economy faces a major problem with its levels of unemployment, economist Chris Hart said on Tuesday.

"The reason for unemployment is internal more than external," he said in Johannesburg.

"Unemployment (in South Africa) is exceptional."

Hart, chief economist at Investment Solutions, was speaking at a Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast.

He compared South Africa's unemployment rate to that of Brazil. In 2002 joblessness in both countries started decreasing. Then came the 2008 global financial crisis.

The period between 2002 and 2008 generated many jobs. Brazil's unemployment rate decreased after this, but not South Africa's, he said.

"Polokwane also happened... and that's a problem," he said referring to the African National Congress' elective conference, held in Polokwane in December 2007, where President Jacob Zuma was voted in as ANC president.

"The unemployment rate suggests that we need to be looking at this as a national priority. I think job creation is one of our lowest policy priorities."

Hart said the only other countries with the same levels of unemployment as South Africa were Greece and Spain, who were in "deep crisis".

South Africa and Brazil were in the same position, but small business made a difference in Brazil.

Hart said talk about job creation never mentioned employer creation.

"The need is not five million jobs in 10 years. That's the most awful target I've ever heard of.

"The actual need, the solution, is 15 million jobs in 10 years... We need to create 15 million jobs and we actually need to create it in a shorter space of time, and I think it is possible."

Hart said for that to happen, policy needed to be changed. Between two and three million new small businesses needed to be created, he said.

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Comments
  • heinrich.spreeth - 2012-12-13 09:31

    Creating jobs and better education should be the number one priority in the country. NOTHING ELSE should waste time.

  • nhlapop - 2012-12-13 09:56

    I Understand NAFCOC Concern, however it’s going to be difficult to create job opportunities because our Government is corrupt. Tenders are awarded to closed friends of ANC Top Officials, to make things worse they don’t finish the projects, money went missing and nothing has been done about that. If they really want to create more job opportunities, they must cleanup Government department, especially Public Works, Use external Audit Firm to Audit every Tender wherether procedure has been followed to award the Tender, when hiring the people after tender has been awarded, involve Auditing to make sure that positions that are advertised and people hired for those positions every single recruitment process is followed. Government must also invest more money on youth. Thabo Mbeki once said, Nation that does not invest in YOUTH that Nation has no future. Invest more money on Graduate programmes; offer more internships programmes this will allow them to acquire more skills to enable them to get decent Jobs in private and public sectors. Government senior positions must also be audited, most people are occupying top positions without qualifications and skills that are required to do the job, hence this is the reason why most of them fail to deliver what is required from them. Employ people who have necessary skills and qualifications to do the job, don’t employ people based on political struggle. In support of free economic freedom to all people of South Africa.

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