Unemployment numbers unacceptable: Cosatu

SABC News COSATU - Unemployment numbers unacceptable: Cosatu

The country’s biggest labour federation, Cosatu, says the latest unemployment numbers are unacceptable. Statistics South Africa reported on Tuesday that the expanded definition of the unemployment rate – which includes people who have stopped looking for a work – increased by 2.3% to 4.2% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2020.

However, the official unemployment rate decreased to 23.3% in the second quarter from 30.1% in the first quarter of the year.

Stats SA has indicated that the slowdown resulted from people not being able to go and look for work or be economically active during the lockdown.

In the video below, reaction to decrease in SA’s unemployment rate: 

Cosatu national spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla, says national treasury and government are to blame for failing to come up with convincing proposals to turn the economy around before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We should not be distracted by the lockdown. The reality is that the fourth quarter of 2019, for the first time this country failed to absorb new workers during the festive season. That was a sign this economy was already on a descent, COVID-19 exacerbated an already bad situation. If you look at the figures they are depressing, the South African economy, 60 percent of it is dependent on consumer spending so people participating meaningfully on the economy at a time when globally people are not consuming our commodities.”

In the video below, people queue for UIF: 

Pamla says the worst is still coming.

“The situation is still going to get worse. If you look at the numbers of section 189 applications that are being submitted companies expressing intention to further retrench. We are looking at a very serious, depressing situation, and if  you look at the fact that 2.2 million people who were income earners have just joined the unemployment line.”

In the video below, Cosatu reacts to decrease in SA unemployment figures: 

‘Not true reflection’

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) says these numbers are not a true reflection of the current state of unemployment in the country.

The federation’s General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says they will be joining Cosatu next week to protect against the current jobs blood bath and corruption.

“They could not even send out people to walk in the stress and do a proper survey , they had to relay on the telephones and during that period no one would go out and look for employment. And yes the figures are not giving us the total picture. And we believe the real figures including COVID are way above than what we are being told.”

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