SA unemployment on the rise

2012-11-01 10:41

Pretoria - The official unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 25.5% of the labour force in the third quarter of this year from 24.9% in the second quarter, a survey showed on Thursday.

In its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Statistics South Africa said the total number of unemployed people stood at 4.67 million in the three months up to September - the highest total since records started in 2008 - from 4.47 million in the second quarter.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, increased to 36.3% from 36.2% previously.

The agency attributed the rise to job losses in domestic households and the mining sector, which has been under pressure from a wave of wildcat strikes.

Meganomics economist Colen Garrow said: “I’m not surprised that the number is higher and parts of the sectors in the economy are struggling. Mining and manufacturing are going to be shedding jobs even more as the economy slows down and the impact of the strike action takes effect.

“It’s amongst the highest unemployment rates globally and highlights quite strongly that we need to be taking some corrective action.”

Said Johannes Khosa, Nedbank economist: “It’s worrying that the unemployment rate is rising again.

“It doesn’t paint a good picture for the months ahead in terms of consumer spending.”

The rand was at R8.666 against the dollar at 08:22 GMT, from R8.699 before the data was released at 08:00 GMT.

The yield on the 2015 bond dipped to 5.485% from 5.49 prior to the release while that on the 2026 issue eased to 7.705% from 7.73%.

South Africa’s jobless rate has been stuck at around 25% for years, and did not dip appreciably even when the economy was growing strongly in the years leading up to a 2008/09 recession.

The ANC has made employment a top priority, and unveiled a big infrastructure development plan in February that it said should create millions of jobs.

With over 13 million people unemployed out of a population of about 52 million, economic growth will be hard-pressed to gain momentum as fewer consumers are able to drive growth.

However, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said the economy needs sustained growth of 7% a year - nearly three times the 2.5% forecast for 2012 - to make a dent in unemployment.

Government is proposing changes to labour laws that are intended to increase job security for temporary workers but economists say this will worsen unemployment as it ramps up costs for employers.


  • michael.hein.7374 - 2012-11-01 10:46

    VIVA ANC....... VIVA!!!

      kgolane.thulare - 2012-11-01 10:54

      @michael.hein "The agency attributed the rise to job losses in domestic households and the mining sector.."

      yossarian.crake - 2012-11-01 11:14

      Ironically, if one were to look at the news. Lonmin have announced a "restructure" to deal with their heavier salary bill. What this mean, previously they were willing to take on a large workforce, but it is no longer economically viable so they will be looking at modernising their processes. Modernising their process means job losses all rounds. I personally feel we should congratulate the unions for the commitment to creating one of the most efficient economies on earth. By this I mean, by 2020, we will have no labour intensive jobs, but the most modern robot workforce on earth. I mean, we would have 60 million unemployed by this point, but they are committed to the technological dream.

      richard.bosmano - 2012-11-01 11:14

      Potato head said he'd create 5 million jobs.What a joke that people voted for a man that didn't even finish primary school. They deserve to be unemployed

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-11-01 11:33

      kgolane - illegally striking miners are losing their jobs? Really? Hmmm, I wonder why??? Having said that, I notice the world is still reeling from the Great Recession where companies have been retrenching and cutting costs all over the place. I wonder if this has anything to do with people being out of work??? duh!

      kgolane.thulare - 2012-11-01 12:11

      @Charlse Darwin "The agency attributed the rise to job losses in domestic households and the mining sector.." Doesnt say anything about striking mine workers losing there jobs... The mining sector is evolving Mr Darwin.

  • apansari2325 - 2012-11-01 10:49

    Ban the labour unions and abuse of labour laws to get the unemployment issue resolved itself !!

      yossarian.crake - 2012-11-01 11:02

      Wouldn’t say Ban, but remove their power. I would say, remove the insane requirements to dismiss someone. If you make it easier to get rid of people, companies would be more willing to take a risk and hire someone. At some periods we could do with 2 more hands on deck, but we won’t hire someone who we would struggle to get rid of if they don’t perform. Side note…the world-wide trend is moving towards contractual relationship as traditional employment is evolving.

  • dumezwenifeelgood.budaza - 2012-11-01 10:52

    It's simple people South Africa needs a second revolution, I am sorry to say this but that is the only solution to our problems, lets suffer all of us and begin from stratch.

      richard.bosmano - 2012-11-01 11:10

      And a revolution will create jobs how?

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-11-01 11:48

      We need a mindset change and should pay less people grants. When you don't get a grant anymore you will find a job if you are hungry enough. Many MLM companies also allow all people to join as distributors.

      gerhardus.stefanus.5 - 2012-11-01 12:01

      Good idea, a lot of people will die and unemployment will drop. ANC knowledge at its best

      SarelJBotha - 2012-11-01 12:05

      Revolutions never lead to anything good in Africa. What you propose is wholesale theft and that is a very evil way to start off.

      attie.gerber.1 - 2012-11-01 12:06

      not in your life time will you see a better south africa. look at the rest of africa. what has changed since some countries has independance for more than 50 years. those people are worse off.

  • yossarian.crake - 2012-11-01 10:54

    Fun fact...the definition of unemployment is quite narrow...the people unemployed in our industries little economy is probably closer to 40%. Luckily, by ensuring that we spend on our education needs and deliver, this will soon turn….oh wait….

      raymond.romans.5 - 2012-11-01 13:55

      People who have applied unsuccessfully are classified as unemployed. Those who have not applied are not, therefore our actual "unemployed" figure is much higher.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-11-01 10:54

    Get rid of illegal immigrants and there will be no problem. 10 million illegal taking the jobs at lower wages. WAKE UP ANC!!!!!!

      cynic.martian.3 - 2012-11-01 11:36

      I will only agree with your statement if you can prove that the unemployed have the same skills as the foreign nationals. You see, this is the problem: On the one side we have a labour law that reduces the incentive to hire, and at the same time we have a workforce with no/wrong skills... The foreigners have to take up the slack.

      SarelJBotha - 2012-11-01 12:06

      Without making the regime much smaller and honest, even your plan will not have the full effect.

      Jeremy - 2012-11-01 12:19

      I would like to know how many of the 5 million more people in the country since the last census in 2001 are, in fact, immigrants from across the northern border, illegal or otherwise? Assuming they're mainly black, wouldn't this be a major contributor to the unemployment figure? And thus to the figure that black people, overall, earn a sixth of what white people earn? When my folks emigrated to SA 40 years ago, they had to show they had specific skills - and a job waiting for them here. I'm pretty sure the reason the ANC allows immigrants to flood into the country is because it knows, in the short term, that the moment they achieve SA citizenship or residence, they'll vote for the ANC.

  • djim.bie - 2012-11-01 10:54

    25%? More like 45%!

  • thedbz - 2012-11-01 10:55


  • sello.r.molefe - 2012-11-01 10:56

    Real rate its 50%.. Tick tick tick...

  • thepatrickwinter - 2012-11-01 11:08

    Thing is, there alot of business operators that are not registered on the system to avoid paying tax. They operate on a cash only principle and people hire them because it is usually a labour intensive job that considerably undercuts the legitimate business owners. I bet there are plenty of them out there.. Painters, tree fellers, garden services, rubble removal etc.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-01 11:19

    expect more crime.

  • philip.vde - 2012-11-01 11:19

    yet those with jobs will rather strike and cause chaos

  • Shane Prins - 2012-11-01 11:21

    and these dumb asses want to make it MORE difficult to hire and fire people??? create more red tape for businesses to start up? stuff up education more by keeping buffoons like Motshekga in her post? these fools simply dont get it: talking about job creation and actually doing it are two different things...

  • Piero Alting - 2012-11-01 11:21

    our goverment, well done you do us proud (idoits)

  • maria.ferreira1234 - 2012-11-01 11:24

    Adding more laws will definately worsen job creation. BEE is one of them. Labour in this country costs an arm and a leg. Definately more job loses on the way.

  • Clerance Lephaka - 2012-11-01 11:26

    The big problem

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-01 11:33

    I think if we get back our land we will be able to grow our own food and livestock.we need more food than direct from the soil.

      heini.botes - 2012-11-01 12:03

      Oh my heart weeps for my beloved South Africa. The fact that you even know how to work a PC is astonishing

      SarelJBotha - 2012-11-01 12:08

      Just an idiot will think that your plan can work.

      mshiniboys - 2012-11-01 12:22

      heini.bottles - Rather the fact that you have guts to troll your fingers away on a computer today against the people who made freedom possible for you and your dumb kind.We freed you from the bondages of apartheid and gave you freedom of speech that you have learned to abuse so much is even more astonishing.Not so long ago you were a "proud European" and today you are trying so hard to be called African you moron.We own you.

      FUNKMASTERFLEX.AKA.BAIN - 2012-11-01 12:30

      mshini ,have you ever heard of history repeating itself? Look north to zim .If you go compare your ideas to how successful economies like germany,south korea etc got to where they are today, do you honestly think your statements make you look clever or just a victim of the ANC education system

      heini.botes - 2012-11-01 12:30

      Whahahahaha, especially loved the 'we own you' part!! Thanks for the chuckles

      heini.botes - 2012-11-01 12:36

      Tell you what mshini...why dont you get of the european pc, give back your european car, your european house (except if it's a tree), watch something else than european sport (which leaves you i'm afraid with basically nothing), the european clothes your wearing, th tv, the dvd, the medical supplies, your watch your wearing...i can go on and on and on, you want me to? Everything you do today is because of europeans. Not a single invention or discovery ever was contributed by a 'african' Seem like we own you my friend! Whahaha, peace be with you

      drakanevony - 2012-11-01 12:54

      If the productive King of KZN can just read this, he can be so helpful....with almost 33% land in KZN under his control he is our salvation.., this is the example you want to use how land = food/money etc?

      mshiniboys - 2012-11-01 13:12

      FUNKMASTERFLEX.AKA.BAsIN your sense of logic has gone too bankrupt that you can not even see the obvious.The countries you mention here have little or no racism because they are run by people of the same skin colour.So jobs are also shared without any sentimental picking and choosing like here at home.racism and apartheid was your idea and it continues to show everywhere including companies and the economy.Blame it all on your greedy self and your ancestors.

      mshiniboys - 2012-11-01 13:19

      heini.botes if it was that easy you would not be basking in my African sun as we speak.Weather forecast seems to suggest you would be hanging for dear life on a tree somewhere because of the beloved sandy.Count yourself lucky and respect me while time allows you to do so.You may soon need my mercy when I start to need my land back.Behave in foreign countries.

      heini.botes - 2012-11-01 16:30

      Doesn't help me replying to you cause News-freedom-of-speech-my-ass24 keeps on deleting my comment to you! So i will just smile and wave you mshini!

  • erich.oosthuizen.3 - 2012-11-01 11:33

    showerhead cant even read a speach thats written for him, what did you expect

  • anthonie.vanbosch - 2012-11-01 11:34

    Watch out for the rise of the machine now. It is my prediction that companies will look more and more to make use of machines, especially in the mining sector. This will lead to job losses and more violence in the country. The answer however is better salaries and work conditions. However, money is everything and morals nothing. More disparities coming and a bigger gap between the rich and the poor. Brace yourself yet again.

      SarelJBotha - 2012-11-01 12:09

      I love it as it gives me and other middle aged whities like me so much more work.

  • michael.ntho - 2012-11-01 11:42

    Where is this Country headed?

      heini.botes - 2012-11-01 12:05

      Let's see in 2014 with the general elections. If it's still a land slide ANC victory then I have no sympathy anymore for 'the strugglers', cause then they want to live like this

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-11-01 11:46

    Great role model Zuma is. He has taught our children that they don't need an education. Just look at what education you need to become president . Scary stuff happening in this country.

  • Muffin_man_can - 2012-11-01 11:54

    How could anyone be surprized by this? We all know what the effects are of anc policy implementations..

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-11-01 12:04

    This is just a result of the ANC elite stealing. The more they steal and the higher their cadres get paid in civil service, the less money is available to employ more people in the private sector. Taxes paid by the private sector is thus just channelled into the pockets of the ANC elite and their connections. This is so simple, but then simple minds do not even grasp simple information.

  • leonard.rom.7 - 2012-11-01 12:09

    could this be the cause of eskom prices and petrol price wait for e toll then it will be 35 %

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-11-01 12:10

    It's a wonder apartheid and the whites aren't blame for this. Corruption, unions and BEE (only alliances to get government contracts) is the only contributors to this country falling apart.

  • andy.zondi - 2012-11-01 12:12

    At this rate the mayans will b proved right

  • ken.koen - 2012-11-01 12:13

    What can you expect when our ANC comrades buy everything from China or any other country that will make a deposit into their private bank accounts. We can build trains, they buy them from china. We can build Power generating equipment, they buy it from China, the list is endless. The ANC and their trade union branch, COSATU are the real cause of unemployment in South Africa!

  • george.slade.161 - 2012-11-01 12:15

    Add in the Deployed Cadres (Unemployed but paid a fortune) and the Unemployed rate is probably a min of 50%. Its also the best(lowest) it will ever be as the ANC demolish Civilisation as we knew it .

  • vic.carrots - 2012-11-01 12:15

    Is it "rise" or "rice". I mean Mr Blah blah blah said he will 1 000 000,00 jobs and after that he went on to say he will create another 500 000,00. He made it worse by announcing that in the next ten years millions of unemployed will be permanently employed. Is he progressing backwards or what? Maybe he meant people will lose jobs so that he can get 225 million for his Zumaville. This report is not surprising, because it is exactly what South Africans are experiencing.

  • Mariaan Viljoen - 2012-11-01 12:51

    mshiniboys, you can't even let a potato grow. Look at the farms you people already took. Absolutly NOTHING is going on there. The nothings is growing skyhigh

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-11-01 13:02

    At last proof that mr prez knows exactly what he is doing. Please fire his rear

  • rjledwaba - 2012-11-01 13:47

    Okay Good citizens,don't u think enough is enough,don't u think it is about bloody time we started taking matters in our own hands ANC has failed us as a country because of the way they elect its leadership,only grandmothers and grandchildren in government. I think this calls for a new way of election, I say lets put pressure on these thieves to change the way a leader is elected,let's goooo

  • wwrer.ww - 2012-11-01 14:32

    Remove the minimum wages and economic boom!

  • don.odendaal - 2012-11-01 14:48

    It is going to go higher with the toll gates as well

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