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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: La Fédération de la Haute Couture

Lukhanyo Mdingi on Making his Paris Fashion Week Debut

We talked to the South African designer who, after co-winning the LMVH Prize last year, showcased his Bodyland Autumn/Winter 22-23 collection in Paris earlier this month.

In 2015, South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi founded his eponymous label. Inspired by his mother and grandmother who raised him, Mdingi has created a formidable brand that is centered on building a bridge between heritage and timeless fashion pieces. Since the brand’s inception, Mdingi has made great strides in fashion, from his NYFW debut in 2019 to being crowned a joint winner of the 2021 LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize.

This year, Mdingi took his vision of Africa to France’s fashion capital, Paris, where he made his Bodyland Autumn/Winter 22-23 debut for the Paris Fashion Week Menswear Collection. Being the first designer on the program schedule to present, Mdingi showcased a collection that spoke of the relationship he shares with himself and the artisans he collaborates with. For the past two years, Mdingi has been working to source his woven textiles and knitwear from crafts communities in Burkina Faso, Somalia, and the Eastern Cape, and the collection featured textural and sartorial nuances paying homage to his being a young Black creative.

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