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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.

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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Amapiano Pioneer DJ Stokie Shares His Journey In New Documentary ‘iPiano eSoweto: The DJ Stokie Story’

Pioneering amapiano deejay, Stokie's newly released documentary 'iPiano eSoweto' details his musical journey through his lens and that of friends, peers and fans.