Ramaphosa says SA is creating jobs, but can't keep up with new entrants

06 November 2019 - 11:31 By Unathi Nkanjeni
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President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: GCIS

While SA's unemployment rate has climbed to the worst levels in more than a decade, President Cyril Ramaphosa has blamed the crisis on the “number of new entrances”. 

In an interview with CNBC, Ramaphosa defended his government’s record over the past two years, saying that they’ve done everything they can to create jobs.

“We've been creating jobs on a year-to-year basis but our job creation efforts have not kept up with the number of new entrances,” said Ramaphosa.

In SA, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in 11 years — 29.1% in the third quarter of 2019.

According to Stats SA's Quarterly Labour Force Survey, 6.7 million people were unemployed in the three months to September 30.

High declines in employment in the third quarter were recorded in the manufacturing sector, which shed 30,000 jobs, followed by construction at 24,000, trade 21,000 and utilities 18,000.

Ramaphosa blamed the unemployment rate on apartheid.

“We're the most unequal society in the world because of our past. As much as we have improved the livelihood of the majority, the unemployment and poverty issue still holds us back,” he said.

Ramaphosa also revealed he wants SA to prosper like some of its neighbouring countries.

He said he hoped the country would raise enough funds at the SA Investment Conference that is taking place in Johannesburg until Friday.  

The event seeks to raise billions of rand which will go towards kick-starting the economy and SA aims to attract R1.2 trillion in new investments over five years.

The annual investment gathering is part of a suite of measures to help the country realise its investment goals.

“We're holding the SA Investment Conference where we're seeking to raise another R300 billion. We're hoping to raise a bit more investment from both local and foreign investors so that we can boost the economic fortunes of our country.

“We want our businesses to succeed. We want them to represent SA. There is a need for a business forum, a discussion which I want to convene. We want to support our businesses as they surge into the continent.” 

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