Former President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma made a video prior to the current looting protesters and mentioned the negative effects of the lockdowns in the society, and how if the government does not open up the economy, people driven by hunger would become ungovernable. True to what we are witnessing today.
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of the 1st quarter of 2021, young people are still struggling in the South African labour market. The official unemployment rate was 32,6%. This rate was 46, 3% among young people aged 15 – 34 years. The burden of unemployment is also concentrated amongst the youth as they account for 59,5% of the total number of unemployed persons.
The unemployment rate among the youth is high irrespective of education level. The graduate unemployment rate was 40, 3% for those aged 15–24 and 15, 5% among those aged 25–34 years, while the rate among adults (aged 35–64 years) was 5, 4%. Some of these young people have become discouraged from participating in the labour market and they are also not building on their skills base through education and training – they are not in employment, education or training.
Stats SA reported households who reported receiving no income increased from 5, 2% before the lockdown to 15, 4% by the sixth week of the national lockdown. The majority of respondents reported salaries/wages as their primary source of income before and during the national lockdown. However, this percentage decreased from 76, 6% before the national lockdown to 66, 7% by the sixth week of national lockdown.
Roughly three out of every four respondents (74, 9%) whose income reduced reported that they had reduced their spending to compensate for the loss of income, while about half of those respondents (51, 7%) indicated that they accessed their savings to close the income gap. Roughly one in three respondents (36, 8%) also relied on extended family members, friends and/or their communities for support.
Claims from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) was used by 14, 6% of these respondents as coping mechanisms.