Letter: ANC to blame for high joblessness - The Citizen

31 March 2022 - That South Africa's unemployment rate has increased to a record high of 35.3% is the result of the ideas and policies that government chose to implement.

That South Africa's unemployment rate has increased to a record high of 35.3% is the result of the ideas and policies that government chose to implement.

South Africans are bearing the brunt of policies that were implemented and ratcheted up before Covid hit.

The Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom ranked South Africa 112th out of 177 countries. We have now fallen into the "mostly unfree" category. That we have such a high unemployment rate is the result of less economic freedom.

Without real change and the creation of a pro-economic freedom business environment, the current rate will only rise in the future. The number of unemployed people increased by 278 000 to 7.9 million in the last quarter of 2021.

With increased operating costs and inflationary pressures exacerbated by state-imposed barriers to the movement of goods and services small-to-medium businesses may find that they simply cannot employ as many people as before.

Also, with government consuming ever more economic activity to repay the interest on its debts and to finance various programmes, the space for private sector activity has decreased. One way to change course from this current disastrous path is to not enact yet more destructive legislation.

Were President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the Employment Equity Amendment Bill, it is likely that the unemployment rate will breach the 50% mark. This Bill will replicate the situation in the country's state-owned entities across the private sector. It is crucial that the president vetoes the Bill. Among the latest unemployment data are the following: youth aged 1524 years old and 2534 years old recorded the highest unemployment rates of 66.5% and 43.5%, respectively.

The young people of South Africa are finding their prospects for a good life stymied at every turn by policies that are anti-capital investment, and which discourage property ownership. They deserve much better than to be doomed to perpetual dependence on paltry grants given to them by the state.

Chris Hattingh, Institute of Race Relations

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