More jobs 'but not nearly enough'

Kea' Modimoeng

Kea' Modimoeng

The rate of unemployment decreased marginally in the first and second quarters of this year and employment in the mining sector ticked up slightly.

But one mining company says it experienced job losses due to the rationing of power supplies to mines by Eskom.

Unemployment declined to 23,1percent in the second quarter from 23,5percent in the first quarter of the year, said Statistics SA in its quarterly Labour Force Survey released yesterday.

There was a 3,9percent increase in employment figures in the mining sector. However, Graham Briggs, chief executive of Harmony Gold, sees this as a sectoral growth and not an all rounder.

"When approaching these stats, it is important to note that in the mining sector, the gold producers had different experiences.

"For instance, at Harmony Gold our employment figures declined due to restructuring and the effects of the electricity crisis," he said.

Asked about the number of people who fell out of the employment system in the past six months, Briggs said: "It's about 2500 people across the board."

The manufacturing sector lost about 20000 people during this period.

When asked whether we are on the right track to meet the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa's 2014 goal of halving unemployment, Congress of South African Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said: "We are nowhere near that goal. We need to create more sustainable jobs."

Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt said: "If we want to reach the AsgiSA goal, we will have to grow the economy stronger than six percent for a sustainable period of years."