By Thys Khiba
Bloemfontein, Free State – Reacting to the recent release by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) of the labour force survey report for the second quarter of 2021, the Democratic Alliance (DA) commended the agricultural, mining, construction, transport, community and social services sectors for facilitating some increases in the number of employment opportunities in the province.
“It is inspiring to see the resilience of these sectors during a difficult time for all local economies,” said Free State DA MPL, Dr. Roy Jankielsohn.
The DA says the province has the potential to create more job opportunities for people but it will require the provincial and local governments to deliver basic services.
Dr. Jankielsohn used examples such as providing reliable electricity and water, ensuring a safe roads network, ridding the province of drug peddlers who contaminate our youth and show a commitment to fighting other crimes, as some of the things that the governments should deal with.
He confirmed that the opposition party has warned the provincial government of the impact which any potential unrest could have on the Free State’s fragile economy.
“…and the party continues to play an active role in ensuring that government and law enforcement agencies are held accountable for protecting and safeguarding communities and businesses in the Free State in order to prevent job losses,” said Dr. Jankielsohn.
The province now has the second highest unemployment rate after the Eastern Cape.
Stats SA’s quarterly labour force survey shows that unemployment increased to 34.4% in the second quarter of this year, from 32.6% in the first quarter. The province’s unemployment rate continues to rise.
Eastern Cape had the highest unemployment rate in the third quarter (at 45,8%), followed by Free State, Gauteng and North West.
The Free State’s official unemployment rate increased from 35,6% in the first quarter of 2021 to 36,5% in the second quarter of 2021.
This means that while some people gained jobs, a worrying number of people continue to lose jobs. The number of unemployed people in the Free State increased from 388 000 in the first quarter of 2021 to 415 000 in the second quarter of 2021.
“Most worryingly however is the fact that only 37,7% of the Free State’s population of working age are employed and many have given up on seeking employment,” said Dr. Jankielsohn.
On the positive side, despite the difficult economic circumstances, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the most recent unrests in parts of South Africa, some small employment gains were recorded in the Free State in the second quarter which saw an additional 20 000 jobs created in the province.
DO YOU HAVE A NEWS STORY OR AN OPINION FOR CENTRAL NEWS: E-mail us : email@example.com or Whatsapp us on 083 398 9119