It is hard to believe that unemployment in South Africa has decreased for the second consecutive quarter. The financial sector apparently played a role in it.
The latest figures released by Statistics South Africa (SSA) indicating that unemployment is diminishing differ drastically from what South Africans see and experience daily.
In fact, the growing number of unemployed persons wandering the streets and the reality of increasing load shedding's destructive impact on the economy paint a picture of exponential unemployment.
There is a possibility that seasonal workers may have an influence on the statistics, but the extent of that influence is unknown.
According to SSA, 32,7% of South Africans were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to 32,9% in the third quarter.
The actual unemployment rate, considering those who have given up on finding a job, stands at 42,6%.
What is, however, alarming is that agriculture and construction are the two sectors where most people lost their jobs, 12 000 in each sector.
The shrinking construction sector is particularly indicative of a shrinking economy, and points to an environment in which the country's crumbling infrastructure will decay even more.
From whichever angle the unemployment situation is considered, it can only be truly put into perspective by comparing it to the world's average unemployment rate of 6,18% (Statista).
South Africa's unemployment rate is the highest in the world. In the second place is Djibouti with 28,4%. Somalia is in twelfth place with less than 20%.
These figures paint a frightening picture of the actual extent of the country's decline under ANC rule, with our unemployment being more than twice Somalia's.
It is time for South Africa's unemployed millions to vote in the 2024 elections and remove the party that has doomed them to become destitute.