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South Africa has Declared Unemployment a National Emergency

The ANC reportedly plans to halve the unemployment rate in the next five years.

After a three-day lekgotla (communal meeting), the African National Congress (ANC) has declared unemployment in South Africa a national emergency, according to eNCA. Speaking to the press yesterday, ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said that the ruling party aimed to reduce the alarmingly high unemployment rate by half within the next five years.


The current unemployment rate is sitting at 27.6 percent while youth unemployment is at a staggering 55.2 percent, Trading Economics reports. The resulting poverty and inequality is conspicuous with beggars at every traffic light, graduates on social media talking about how they've been unemployed for years and about 17 million South Africans currently dependent on social grants.

Speaking on behalf of the ANC, Magashule said:

"Lekgotla agreed that unemployment is now going to be a national emergency. We are declaring unemployment a national disaster. We want our deployees to focus on implementation."

Just last month, South Africa made it to the cover of Time Magazine—for all the wrong reasons. The cover highlighted the magnitude of inequality by depicting the wealthy Johannesburg suburb of Primrose situated right next to the impoverished township of Makause.

The scourge of unemployment in South Africa and the indignity it's brought to so many is unfortunately nothing new. It's about damn time the ruling party declared it the national emergency it has been for years.

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Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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