SOUTH AFRICA: Bishops urge Government to Tackle Unemployment

KIMBERLY MAY 2, 2017(CISA)-Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC)’s Justice and Peace Commission has called on the government to tackle the rising unemployment rate in the county.

In a statement dated April 29, Bishop Abel Gabuza, Chairperson of the SACBC said that millions of people in the country were “unemployed and very desperate.”

“Youth unemployment in South Africa has now reached dangerous levels, with many unemployed youths now being exposed to drug abuse, human trafficking, recruitment to a life of crime and manipulation by unscrupulous politicians who recruit them for violent protests and political destabilization,” he said.

Bishop Gabuza further called on the South African government and the ruling African National Congress (ANC)’s policy conference in June “to review the youth wage subsidy and its ability to reverse youth unemployment trends in South Africa.”

“In the absence of an impact study that demonstrates the contrary, to us, the youth wage subsidy will remain a costly and unsustainable venture…,” he warned.

He further noted that the youth unemployment would not be addressed comprehensively in the country if the culture of corruption and patronage networks continued to prevail.

“It is true that to lower the current levels of youth unemployment, the government needs to adopt radical economic transformation. It should, however, be a radical economic transformation that benefits all, and not only a few who are politically connected,” said Bishop Gabuza.

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