Marcus warns on joblessness

2012-08-22 09:37

Johannesburg - South Africa is unlikely to make a significant dent in its high level of unemployment even if the economy manages to grow at higher rates, Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus said on Tuesday night.

Speaking at a fundraising dinner, Marcus said the bank had been cutting its growth forecasts for the past year with GDP growth now expected to average about 2.7% this year and 3.8% in 2013.

The challenges facing the domestic economy, partly due to the global downturn, were "daunting", she said.

"Even if we manage to grow at higher levels, it will be difficult to absorb such vast numbers of unemployed, especially in the short to medium term," Marcus said.

President Jacob Zuma has singled out one of South Africa's biggest challenges as the jobless rate which has persisted around 25% for the past year and was at 24.9% in the second quarter, according to the latest official statistics.

"The natural rate of unemployment in South Africa appears to be in excess of 20%, and significant structural changes will be required in order to make inroads into this," Marcus said.

South Africa's potential output growth had declined to 3.5% from 4.5% before the global economic slowdown and would be further constrained by domestic factors such as electricity shortages until next year, she said.

Last week's crackdown against protesting Lonmin miners that left more than 40 dead has put the focus on South Africa's unemployment and its growing black underclass, often uneducated and underpaid, that has seen few benefits from the end of apartheid nearly two decades ago.

It has also raised hard questions about investing in Africa's top economy and the ruling ANC's ability to deliver on overdue promises of job creation and change.

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  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-08-22 09:58

    If you want really to grow the SA economy the gov should go away with the current AA/BEE policy,pumping money into the educational system, retaining as many skilled workers as possible, instead to scare them away ( see AA policy), creating a REAL business friendly environment by luring prospect overseas investors in SA and reforming unions. All of the above can be done by a willing government...but the question would be : Is the SA government really committed to make the country a successful one? Cheers.

      alan.gernet - 2012-08-22 10:01

      Eish - But the Prez. reckons he is going to solve this problem.??? Or is it getting close to election time rhetoric?

      malcolm.james.macleod - 2012-08-22 10:25

      Note that education cannot be fixed simply by 'pumping' money into it. The problem with our education (and most things in Africa) is one of management/leadership not a lack of funds.

  • richard.zanner - 2012-08-22 09:59

    Off course unemployment will not change coz the Government feels it is not important to educate the people so therefore they have no skills to sell so why would anybody want to employ them. It is the ongoing problem that SA does not have the skills to sell and the skills they do have are leaving or are unemployable coz they are white e.g SAA. If you want to improve unemployment then educate your people you stupid ANC but the if you educate them then they will not vote for you.

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-08-22 10:08

    This is news?

  • ianon.ym - 2012-08-22 10:21

    Your warning comes to late.

  • lawson.lutchman - 2012-08-22 10:32

    Years ago I proposed a manufacturing based aproach to our economy, if we have mining engineers and artisans, we could take a leaf from the Korean car manufacturing page, design and market our own vehicle range. At the very least our customer base will be local and national government.

  • leonard.rom.7 - 2012-08-22 10:33

    thanks to eskom and petrol price !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • john.morreira.9 - 2012-08-22 10:35

    Until such time as the trade unions are brought to heel,there is no hope, of achieving the desperately needed, job creation ideal.

  • Andre - 2012-08-22 10:42

    And then the employed citizens strike because they want more money than their increases which they were happy with when they applied for on their knees begging for work!

  • ddnjozela - 2012-08-22 11:04

    I believe a people shouldnt vote for a party but rather individuals representing a party or not. individuals who believe they have the capacity and skill to be president should campaign and stand for the post and other post in the cabnet. This way SA wont be controlled by 1 alliance and top perfomers will be rewarded throught votes for thier efforts. Zuma picks cabinet members cos of thier loyalty to his party and instict hence they failing all the time, and when he finds it fittin he shuffles and fires how ever he pleases, that wont help SA grow at all.

  • thabanee - 2012-10-10 18:51

    Reform unions to combat joblosses

  • andre.harmse.10 - 2012-12-13 10:13

    Only thing that will stop unemployment is a 1 or 2 child policy per family. Aka China...

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