In July the youth of Frances Based took to the streets in a peaceful manner, knocking at the doors of every department, demanding to be absorbed. This raised the hopes of many young people who thought the struggle of poverty and unemployment is a thing of the past. While some were promised phone calls from different departments, a month later, nothing has happened.
The young people grouped at the ministry of Health last week seeking answers about the absorption. They patiently waited for the ANC Youth League Chairperson, Sandiseni Sithole and those accompanying him to emerge from the meeting with the HOD and the MEC of health.
A group complained that they have been waiting outside the ministry since 8:30 and that by 11:00 there was still no sign of the leaders.
“We left our homes very early without eating or even drinking coffee because we wanted to get here when they open their doors to also know where we stand with these departments”.
As time passed a pregnant young lady who didn’t want to be named, complained of an aching body due to standing for too long.
“We walked from the center to this place, my body is aching but I need to know what the verdict is because I have a child on the way now who I need to support”.
The officials emerged and MEC Mase Manopole informed the crowd that she understands their frustrations as she also has a son who is unemployed. She asked that the young people also bear in mind that there are procedures in government that need to be followed when it comes to creating and filling of posts. The two groups agreed that there will be a follow up meeting in the next two weeks, where updates will be given to the youth of Frances Baard.
The unemployment rate in the Northern Cape has jumped to 26%, while the expanded unemployment rate is currently at 41.5%.
This is according to the quarterly labour force statistics for the first quarter of 2019 released by Stats SA. The Northern Cape, which has a labour force of 434 000, has 321 000 employed people, 113 000 unemployed, 366 000 people who are not economically active and 84 000 discouraged work seekers.
The number of discouraged work seekers is up by 52.4% in comparison to the same time last year, when there were 55 000 discouraged work seekers.
In terms of expanded unemployment, there are 228 000 unemployed people in the Province, which is an increase of 12.5% above the 203 000 unemployed people in the last quarter of last year.
One of the biggest job losses in the Province was in the agricultural sector. Here a large drop of 16.3% was recorded year-on-year, with 8 000 less jobs in this sector.
With the increase of unemployment rate one can’t help but wonder if the government will meet its National Development Plan (NDP), which is a long-term development plan and a detailed blueprint for how the country can eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. Among the NDP’s objectives is to create an additional 11 million jobs by 2030 with an aim to subsequently reduce the unemployment rate from 25 per cent to 14 per cent in 2020 and 6 per cent by 2030.