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Mon Jul 25 08:19:42 CAT 2016

'1.8-million jobless since Zuma became president': DA

TMG Digital | 07 January, 2016 16:23
President Jacob Zuma dances at a victory rally of his ruling ANC in Johannesburg.
Image by: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS

Since Jacob Zuma became President‚ more than 1.8 million South Africans have lost their jobs‚ said Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane at the unveiling of an “unemployment billboard” in the Johannesburg CBD.

Part of a campaign to “recognise the plight of millions of jobless South Africans and to roll out the DA’s solutions to the unemployment crisis”‚ the billboard was unveiled at the corner of Jeppe and Sauer Streets on Thursday morning.

Maimane in his speech rolled off a string of disturbing statistics that point to a serious crisis of unemployment. He said 8.4 million people are currently unemployed – more than a third of the workforce; this means 774 people join their ranks every day.

Maimane said because government had missed the deadline in negotiating the extension of the US’s Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa)‚ tens of thousands of farm workers would also become jobless.

He unveiled the DA’s five-step plan to boost job growth: investment in energy‚ transport and internet connectivity; improvements in education quality and outcomes; reform of labour laws; incentives for job creation through youth wage subsidies and government supported apprenticeship and internship programmes; and more support for small businesses.

“Our campaign will visit communities across the length and breadth of our country to hear the stories of the unemployed. We will collate these stories to give a voice to the voiceless‚ culminating in a mass march against unemployment‚ right here in the centre of Johannesburg on Wednesday 27 January‚” said Maimane.

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