Unemployed in Limpopo warn of jobs bloodbath

Limpopo's provincial government spokesperson said it was disappointed by the number of jobs lost in the fourth quarter last year.

While the latest quarterly labour force survey (QLFS) released by Statistics SA on Tuesday shows that Limpopo has lost 40 000 jobs, the province was, however, praised as it remained as one of the top three provinces that managed to create jobs in the four quarters of the financial year.

Limpopo had the largest yearon-year percentage increase in employment of 13.8%. Compared to 2022, it saw an increase of 182 000 jobs last year.

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Speaking to The Citizen after the release of the statistics, Limpopo provincial government spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela said the province was disappointed by the number of jobs lost in the fourth quarter, but pleased by its performance throughout the year.

“Limpopo’s year-on-year official unemployment rate has decreased by 0.6% of a percentage point,” said Ramakuela.

“The largest decrease in the unemployment rate was recorded in Western Cape (2.2%), followed by KZN (1.9%), Limpopo (1.5%),” according to the survey.

“This is commendable, to say the least.” But many in Limpopo, especially unemployed youth, men and women who line the streets every day looking for jobs, called on premier Stan Mathabatha to pull up his socks and save the remaining jobs in the province, or else “Limpopo will face even more of a jobs bloodbath”.

According to the survey, the quarter-to-quarter job losses in the province were experienced in the agriculture sector (9 000 job losses), manufacturing (5 000), trade sector (15 000), private households (6 000) and finance sector (7 000), while the community and social services sector lost 34 000 jobs.

The Democratic Alliance, which is the third-biggest political party in the province after the ANC and the Economic Freedom Fighters, was more worried.

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Through its provincial chair, Lindy Wilson, the party blamed the ANC-led government of clearly lacking the political will to curb the electricity crisis and massive job losses.

“Limpopo has 1 498 000 employed people in stark contrast to the 3 073 000 unemployed, discouraged work seekers and not economically active individuals,” said Wilson.

She said about 1.8 million individuals, mostly youth in Limpopo, are currently not in education, employment or training, adding that this was worrisome.

Speaking at Meropa Entertainment World, outside Polokwane on Tuesday, Mathabatha highlighted the province’s need for serious investment in economic development in municipalities to assist in restructuring the economy.

Mathabatha encouraged municipalities to identify competitive areas for economic development and job creation.

He further outlined key priorities for economic reconstruction, job creation and basic service provision. The premier went on to endorse the 2024-25 medium-term expenditure framework draft budget and the infrastructure service delivery programme.

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