Hon House Chair, the unemployment statistics released today by Statistics SA indicate that the levels of unemployment in this country have risen to just over 29% and that is only for the narrow definition of unemployment. Using the expanded definition of unemployment, four in 10 South Africans are unemployed. This is the highest rate of unemployment since 2008 and affects mostly those at the prime of their lives.
The highest percentage of unemployed is found at those between the ages of 25 and 34, young people who should be contributing their youth to the development of this country. This is a national crisis, deserving a swift and radical intervention. It requires a complete rethinking of the very nature and structure of our economy. Obviously, what we have been doing over the past two decades has not been working.
The economy is still in the hands of a few who are holding the money and not investing it back to the country. They do this because the ANC has been sitting on
the fence not knowing whether they are for the poor and the marginalised or for the rich apartheid beneficiaries who hold the bulk of the wealth. We need to get our manufacturing to work again and for that to happen, we must protect our own infant industries, nurture them to develop and create jobs here.
This will not happen without a capable strong state which we do not have at the moment. I so move.