More Shocking Unemployment Numbers as Released by Stats SA

Xolile Mpini

Mon Nov 29 2021 22:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

No one should have the right to tell an unemployed person at what price they can sell their labour. We are in the middle of a crisis of unemployment and the unemployed people are crying for freedom. Give them back their freedom, we say, so that they can make their own decisions about their own lives and the lives of their families.

PRESS Statement for immediate release

More shocking unemployment numbers as released by Stats SA

Our Langeberg Unemployed Forum (LUF) notes with shock the stats on unemployment released by Stats SA. South Africa’s third quarter unemployment rate rises to 34,9%, the expanded unemployment rate rises and is above 50%. This translates to about 15 million plus unemployed people.
A caring government should have stopped everything and channelled all resources at their disposal to address this crisis of unemployment.

The solution to the crisis of unemployment is a simple one as we have explained over and over. Give unemployed people who have been unemployed for six months or more, a Job Seekers Exemption Certificate (JSEC), valid for two years, that allows the holder to work for any wage or under any conditions they are prepared to accept. What will it cost to print JSEC certificates? What will it cost for municipalities to hand them out? Almost nothing!

Ask any unemployed person and any small employer what will be better, the system of mass unemployment that we have now, or the system suggested by the LUF, a system that gives freedom to those who are living in poverty to join hands and work together to improve their lives. Or is the real problem with the people who make the decisions that have caused the mass unemployment that they don’t care? We have come to expect that government will do nothing about unemployment, no matter how bad it gets. Unemployment does not happen by accident. It happens when the employers are prevented from employing and the unemployed are not allowed to make their own decisions about conditions of employment and level of wages. It is that simple. Take away these blocks on employment and mass unemployment will disappear.

Unemployment figures are today a breaking news. It will last for few days, as usual, and there will be speakers lined up to analyse the unemployment stats and thereafter nothing will happen.

We have been calling on this government to create a special dispensation for the unemployed people, a dispensation that will allow them to knock on doors, speak to potential employers and make arrangements with them, an approach that is not allowed by the labour laws.

It is because the unemployed and the employers are not allowed to bargain over jobs that there are so many unemployed people in the country. It is in the area of basic conditions of employment and on the amount of the wages, that the unemployed people must have the right to bargain with potential employers.

No one should have the right to tell an unemployed person at what price they can sell their labour. We are in the middle of a crisis of unemployment and the unemployed people are crying for freedom. Give them back their freedom, we say, so that they can make their own decisions about their own lives and the lives of their families.

END.

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