South Africa's Unemployment Rate at a Record High

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 18: Protesters display a placard near the Seraleng mining community on May 18, 2020, in Rustenburg, South Africa. Seraleng residents gathered at Sibanye k5 mine shaft and it is alleged that the community complained of food parcel corruption by a local ward councillor. Grievances also included concerns with unemployment, loss of business and access to a social labour plan.

Photo by Dino Lloyd/Gallo Images via Getty Images.

South Africa's Unemployment Rate at a Record High

The recent unemployment figures show that the South African youth are most affected with over 70 percent facing joblessness.

South Africa's unemployment statistics have recently been shared by Stats SA and they are jarring. Unemployment is the highest it's ever been in the country with just over 7 million South Africans without jobs — an increase of 8000 people since last year. Additionally, among the hardest hit are South African youth with 74.4 percent of them facing dire joblessness, university graduates included. The rise in unemployment continues despite the South African government having declared unemployment a national emergency back in 2019.

READ: South Africa has Declared Unemployment a National Emergency

South Africa's unemployment rate currently stands at 32.6 percent, according to EWN. The impact of this socio-economic issue has resulted in more and more South Africans feeling discouraged about searching for employment, a process that often costs money they already don't have. Business Tech reports that at least 200 000 South Africans have been categorised as "discouraged work-seekers" with large numbers of people moving between "employed" to "not economically active" and "unemployed".

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and intermittent national lockdowns have been implicated in the deepening unemployment crisis, South Africans have also expressed their anger towards continued corruption by politicians. The latest of these exposés has seen Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, under scrutiny for having allegedly benefited from R150 million that was meant for "questionable communications services" linked to his department, Daily Maverick reports.

Understandably, there is a prevailing sense of despondency among South Africans. Here are some of their reactions on social media below.