27 Jun

UASA Media Release: 27 June 2023

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

Earlier today, UASA attended an intergenerational youth dialogue at Fedusa House where young people involved in trade unions raised concerns about the high levels of unemployment and more specific youth unemployment, the funding for a just transition to a greener economy, skills development, inequality, and poverty among the youth.

The young people present, noted that a differentiated approach was needed to overcome economic and social challenges, including unemployment. Fedusa president Mr. Godfrey Selematsela, and vice presidents (Development and Training & Education) Jacques Hugo and Basil Manuel agreed that the youth must make their voice heard on economic, employment, and social justice challenges and provide concrete solutions. External factors such as climate change, job creation and access to potable water must be high on the list of priorities as these have a huge influence on our future, they said.

Against this background, Stats SAs announcement today that 21 000 jobs – or -0,2% quarter-on-quarter – had been lost between December 2022 and March 2023 accentuates the critical unemployment situation we find ourselves in even more.
In its Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) report, Stats SA said total employment decreased by 97 000, or -1,0% year-on-year, between March 2022 and March 2023.
Major decreases were reported in the following industries: trade (-36 000 or -1,6%), business services (-32 000 or -1,4%), transport (-2 000 or -0,5%) and construction (-2 000 or -0,4%).
Full-time employment decreased by 24 000 or -0,3% year-on-year between March 2022 and March 2023 while, part-time employment decreased by 73 000 or -6,0% year-on-year between March 2022 and March 2023.

The employment situation needs serious intervention. Shedding formal jobs will soon lead to harsher circumstances and an increase in the number of the poor.
Earlier this month, the Nasi Ispani (Here is a job) campaign offered 8 000 jobs in the Gauteng provincial government in commemoration of the 1976 June 16 uprising. While this is an admirable initiative, Youth Month should not be the only time when government and other stakeholders take the issue of youth unemployment seriously.

While we urge government to do and act right, we must be proactive and be the solution that our country and people need. As young people, the decisions we make today will determine our tomorrow. As we conclude Youth Month, UASA encourages young people to come forward and be drivers of change towards a greener economy, sustained economic development and job creation.

It is up to all of us to protect our economy, ensure its sustainability and growth for the future.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.

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