COSATU notes the latest Jobs Report

20 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes with disappointment Stats SA’s jobs report for the last quarter of 2023.  The report indicates a rise in unemployment by 0.2%, with the total number of employed persons decreasing by 22 000 and the number of unemployed persons increasing by 46 000 as more young people enter the labour market.

We are particularly distressed as there is normally an increase in employment in the last quarter of the year as the retail and hospitality sectors take advantage of the festive season when people travel on holiday and do Christmas and back to school shopping.

The most worrying part of the unemployment statistics is that the mining and possibly the manufacturing sector are likely to see significant numbers of retrenchments as the economy in general and especially these industries, struggle to cope with loadshedding and the massive crises bedevilling Transnet Freight Rail and delays at the Ports. 

We hope that these deeply distressing figures will see a decisive response from the Minister for Finance, Enoch Godongwana, when he tables the 2024/25 Budget at Parliament on 21 February.

Government needs to announce a bold and aggressive package of measures to stimulate the economy, rebuild Eskom and Transnet as well as other key State-Owned Enterprises and municipalities, unlock infrastructure investments, ramp up the Presidential Employment Stimulus and SRD Grant, and escalate the fight against crime and corruption.

The economy has the potential to grow.  But it needs to be supported through investments and action.  It’s a dangerously fool hardy myth that thinks it will just grow on its own.  The Budget needs to speak to this and not simply be a bean counting exercise or a report to bond investors on government’s debt trajectory.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687