Gareth Cotterell
Digital News Editor
2 minute read
8 Sep 2021
11:28 am

Zwelinzima Vavi tells Cyril Ramaphosa to resign

Gareth Cotterell

'Somebody must take accountability. We can't wait until there's an implosion,' says the Saftu general secretary.

Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign over South Africa's unemployment crisis. Picture: Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius

South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to resign.

Vavi made these comments on SAfm after Statistics SA released the latest GDP figures on Tuesday. Statistics show that South Africa’s GDP increased by 1.2% in the second quarter of 2021.

ALSO READ: Increase in GDP good, but nothing to write home about

Vavi said the GDP growth was not a true reflection of what is happening with the country’s economy, particularly regarding unemployment. South Africa’s unemployment recently hit a record high of 34.4%, which translates to about 7.8 million jobless people.

The reason Vavi is calling for Ramaphosa to resign is because “he’s the leader who promised the youth that he would be focusing on the crisis of unemployment”.

“He is the president of the governing party that has been in power for the past 27 years and whose leadership has only produced more unemployment, poverty and inequality.”

Professor Bonke Dumisa, an independent economist, told The Citizen that although the 1.2% GDP growth is encouraging, it is regrettable that manufacturing and construction continue to see negative growth, especially since these sectors could offer more job opportunities for unskilled or lower-skilled workers.

Analysts also say the economy is still 1.4% smaller than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent expansion is not enough to drive sustained growth and employment.

“The crisis that is afflicting the poor continues unabated. It means deeper levels of poverty and inequality. The lives of ordinary people are worsening… it means more protest action, it means the levels of instability – politically and economically – are continuing to worsen in South Africa,” said Vavi.

“If we had our way this government would have long ago packed and left the scene because clearly it has failed the youth. Clearly it has failed women and black people. Under its stewardship we have moved from one crisis to the next crisis.

“You’ll see from the latest statistics that the manufacturing sector is declining continuously. This is a disaster.”

“Somebody must take accountability. We can’t wait until there’s an implosion,” added Vavi.