Youth unemployment is a timebomb waiting to explode if government does not react fast, says Numsa youth desk co-ordinator Castro Ngobese.
Overall unemployment is 25.2%, according to StatisticsSA.
However, unemployment is highest between the ages of 15 and 24.
Ngobese said that it is Numsa’s view that the government is doing nothing to create jobs, because it believes that the people of South Africa only vote for grants and not for decent jobs and livelihoods.
StatisticsSA spokesperson Kefiloe Masikeng told the media in May 2010 that unemployment among youth and women is higher than average.
Employment declined by 171 000 between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, according to Stats SA.
One of government’s job-creating initiatives is the industrial policy action plan (IPAP), which was created to develop industry in the country.
The aim of the plan is to increase the coherence of macro- and micro-policies.
IPAP also focuses on securing and channeling concessional DFI funding and on strengthening the conditionalities and impact associated with on-budget incentives.
Numsa’s researcher, Tengo feels strongly that IPAP should be implemented but that this needs the government to take action. Numsa’s input on IPAP, made on March 3 this year by general secretary Irvin Jim, makes it clear that as Numsa agrees with the plan’s proposed policies.
Numsa asked for “bold, decisive and speedy implementation” of IPAP for the benefit of the poor and the working class.
It is Numsa’s view that the plan seems to have a progressive industrialising agenda.
Ngobese also mentioned that the 1996 class project called Gear has failed to create jobs. In fact, has caused more job losses and retrenchments.
Young people are the worst affected by this epidemic of high unemployment in South Africa, according to statistics released in May.
Agriculture had created 35 000 jobs and private households 34 000, Kefiloe Masikeng told the media.
Unions and the government should work together to fight this epidemic which is killing the youth, because the Freedom Charter demands that there shall be jobs and security for the people of South Africa.
Numsa News No 3, October 2010