The Status quo remains the same on the unemployment crisis in South Africa

Xolile Mpini

Wed Jun 08 2022 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, so that they can make their own decisions about their own lives and the lives of their families.

According to Stats SA, the unemployment rate stands at 34,5% at the end of the first Quarter of 2022. There is a slight decrease from 35,3% at the end of the fourth Quarter of 2021. Despite the slight decrease of the unemployment rate, to us the status quo of the unemployment crisis in South Africa remains the same.

South Africa is in a crisis, and it is very clear that government have no clue as to how to solve the scourge of unemployment, in essence they have thrown in the towel.

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 unemployed are not allowed to make their own decisions about conditions of employment and the level of wages they will accept. The unemployed forum believes if the blocks on employment are removed mass unemployment will disappear.

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

Parliament must write our proposed Job Seekers Exemption Certificate proposal into law and any unemployed individual must be able to voluntarily apply for it. The Job Seekers Exemption Certificate can be used as a legal document that releases long term unemployed people from the shackles of unemployment by removing the barriers to entry into the labour market that violently keep the poorest South Africans out. And it will do that without affecting the protection that the labour laws give to those who are already employed.

As it stands now, unemployed people are not allowed to bargain over jobs. It is in 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, so that they can make their own decisions about their own lives and the lives of their families.