ANC should focus on the economy

The ruling ANC did not seem fazed by the state of affairs yesterday, the writer says.
The ruling ANC did not seem fazed by the state of affairs yesterday, the writer says.
Image: 123RF

That SA's unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since 2008 is alarming.

Statistics South Africa announced yesterday that levels of joblessness were at 29% in the second quarter of the year. This is 1,4% increase from the preceding quarter's figure of 27.6 %.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey revealed that there are currently 6.7-million unemployed people in the country between the ages of 15 and 64.

This comes after the private sector had been shedding thousands of jobs since the beginning of the year due to tough economic conditions.

However, what is more concerning is the lack of leadership. Our economic state is worrying and we need solutions - fast.

But the ruling ANC did not seem fazed by the state of affairs yesterday as it acknowledged the higher joblessness rate and called on government to handle it.

There was no acknowledgement of the shocking unemployment statistics from ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule that the situation was getting dire and more needed to be done to fix it.

No sense of urgency whatsoever, and Magashule simply called on government to quickly implement plans announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last year.

Eskom also announced a whooping R20.7bn loss for the last financial year - way higher than the R2.3bn loss of the previous year.

Even though Ramaphosa announced a proposed R230bn of bail-outs for the power utility over the next 10 years, analysts were reportedly saying that will not be enough to make Eskom sustainable in the long run.

As the country sinks deeper into economic crisis, we are also faced with a leadership crisis as the governing party is more concerned about factional battles within its ranks than its suffering citizens.

The ruling party's focus is on how to handle a former minister who connived with an opposition party in a bid to unseat its erstwhile president and what will happen in its national general council next year.

This is the time for the ANC to forget about internal squabbles and lead us out of the economic mess we are in.

Put your differences and factional battles aside and do what is right for this country. The masses voted for you to govern, now is the time for you to lead us.

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