The Eastern Cape currently has the highest rate of young people aged 15-34 who are not in employment, education or training, a staggering 47.1%. Ryan Hancocks reports
The official rate of unemployed in the latest quarterly labour force survey (q1 2019) reflects the stark reality of SA’s embattled economy with a jump of 0.5% to an official unemployed rate of 27.6%. At the outset this might not seem as significant given the country’s current battle with job creation, however, the Eastern Cape Province has been the hardest hit during 2018.
With an official unemployment rate increasing a massive 6.4%, the province now sits at an official unemployment rate of 37.4% in the first quarter of 2019. This comes after 90 000 jobs were shed across all sectors in the province. By comparison the next worst province for employment was Limpopo which lost 39000 jobs during the 2018 period recorded.
Breaking down the 90000 jobs lost to the Eastern Cape Province between the first quarter of 2018 and 2019 shows that the majority of these were lost in the non-metro areas of the province with 50 000 of these job opportunities being lost in the non-metro formal employment sector. The dire situation if the non-metro province job market is reflected in the 40.1% official unemployment rate for non-metro areas which sits a full 2.7% above the provincial number.
The Eastern Cape currently has the highest rate of young people aged 15-34 that are not in employment, education or training, a staggering 47.1%, up 3.4% alone on 2018. The closest contender to worse performance next to the Eastern Cape is the North West Province at 45.6%.
The bleak future of youth unemployment in the Eastern Cape, particularly in non-metro areas hits hard as local municipalities in the province struggle to deliver basic services and the Provincial Department of Education has a schooling backlog.
Secondary and Tertiary education provision have become a political flashpoint between youth and the government over the past years culminating in the ‘Fees Must Fall’ movement in 2015.
This reality is reflected in the 6.2 million unemployed currently in South Africa, of which 56% have less than a matric, 34.5% have only a matric exemption, 6.9% had a tertiary qualification other than a University, and 2.1% of those currently unemployed in South Africa were graduates.
Makana Municipality were approached for comment on the municipal plans to stimulate job creation in the area but were unable to provide a response at time of going to print.