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UASA is deeply concerned with the current economic situation that our country is experiencing due to several challenges that continue to worsen the situation. As a result of the country's formidable challenges and massive unemployment, we now sit with a 0,2% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decrease in the third quarter of 2023.
Following two successive quarters of growth, this decrease indicates just the tip of the iceberg to the massive destruction inflicted by the energy crisis, unemployment, industry production, climate change, and water and infrastructure destruction, among other challenges. What has become of Africa's leading industrialised nation?
A trend where eight out of ten manufacturing divisions report negative growth rates in a quarter is unacceptable. As reported by Stats SA, leading industries, including agriculture, forestry and fishing, manufacturing and construction, all reported a decline in the third quarter.
2023 was a tough year for many citizens who had to make means and survive in a country where the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high, inflation and interest rates continued escalating, resulting in the majority living hand to mouth.
We can never normalise poverty or accept the reality of unemployment. Idling around with massive economic challenges while we wait on the government for solutions will only worsen matters, as it is evident that the government has failed its people.
We can only dream of economic recovery until we have a tangible action plan to wipe out the high unemployment rate and fix the energy crisis. How can we rely on an economy that cannot produce sustainable and efficient jobs?
UASA acknowledges fellow South Africans who have pushed the hardship and managed to create businesses and employment for others, surviving through blackouts. We encourage you to continue sustainable planning for your company to ensure we create jobs for others.
We urge the government to assist young people who are venturing into business with financial assistance to ensure that we create as much employment as possible.
We cannot let our economy shrink further. Let there be solutions and plans to help restore our economy and thrive as before.
Issued by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA