'We are sitting on a time bomb'
UNEMPLOYMENT among Africans was deepening so much that the poor will one day storm into the offices of politicians with their broken shoes and turned T-shirts to enquire about the future.
"We are sitting on a time bomb, ready to explode," warned Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi yesterday.
"Poor people will one day march against us if we keep on making promises and keep none."
Vavi was addressing a Cosatu provincial conference a few days after President Jacob Zuma promised delegates at the ANC policy conference that there would be a "giant lead" and "radical" policy shift to deal with anger among the poor.
Vavi said that in 1995, unemployment among Africans was estimated to be 38% and it stood at 45% 10 years later.
"Overall, the unemployment rate in the South African economy was 31% in 1995 and increased to 39% in 2005. As of 2009, the rate of participation of Africans in the labour force was 52% and for whites it was 68%. "Among Africans of working age, only 36% are absorbed into employment compared to 65% of whites."
Income inequality was still racialised with an average African man earning about R2400 per month while an average white man earns around R19000 per month.
Vavi blamed all the problems on the country's education system, which he described as dysfunctional and ineffective.
"The poor's children remain trapped in inferior mud classes."