South Africa’s unemployment rate has risen to levels last seen in 2008. According to the country’s National Statistics Agency, 30.8% of South Africans are now unemployed. This figure is the highest the country has experienced since 2008.
The statistics are mainly caused by the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. The southern African country, one of the most industrialized in Africa, was among the first to record a case of COVID-19 on the continent. It is also one of the most heavily affected countries in Africa.
In response to the pandemic, the government instituted a raft of measures to flatten the infection curve. The covid response involved a total lockdown which halted economic activity, affecting revenue for industry and other productive sectors of the economy.
The lockdown hit businesses severely, prompting restructuring which has seen many employees losing their jobs. In addition, several SMEs will not survive the situation. The increasing number of people seeking employment is a direct result of this situation.