SOUTH AFRICA: Bishops Raise Concern over Unemployment Crisis in Nation

JOHANNESBURG AUGUST 22, 2017(CISA)-Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference (SACCB), Justice and Peace Commission has called on the government to convene a job summit to discuss the nation’s unemployment crisis.

“We are deeply worried about the levels of retrenchment and unemployment in our country. All the sectors of our economy are shedding jobs and expanding the ranks of the unemployed at an accelerated and alarming rate,” read a statement signed by Bishop Abel Gabuza, chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission August 18.

“We feel the pain of the thousands of South Africans who are unemployed and those who are victims of retrenchments. The current retrenchment and unemployment trends demand a decisive and strategic action to reverse the escalation in the job crisis,” they added.

The bishops demanded the government to call a job summit to discuss the ongoing retrenchments and the measures to expand job creation in the tough economic climate.

They further called on the government not to shy away from discussing and pursuing job creation through macro-economic reforms and mitigation of the current political uncertainties.

“Our country needs a macro-economic framework that it is increasingly labour-absorbing and equitable in its distribution patterns,” the bishops said.

On August 7, Statistics South Africa (SSA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey revealed that more than three million South Africans, aged between 15 and 24, were neither employed nor pursuing higher education.

They called on the government to speed up efforts to cushion the effects of unemployment crisis on vulnerable families through expanded and sustained access to social protection.

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