According to a recent statement issued by COSATU national spokesperson, Patrick Craven, the rising intensity of unemployment in South Africa has condemned 5.5 million people to a life of destitution. Approximately 1,102000 (that’s over a million) jobs were lost since the beginning of 2009.
Informal settlements (aka squatter camps), are popping up like mushrooms countrywide, and confrontations with the police have become a daily occurrence as residents, who voted for their so-called ‘freedom’, demand the services they were promised by their ‘freedom fighters’.
Hardly five kilometers from where I live, behind the multi-million rand Woodhill Estate, temporary shelters housing approximately 400 residents were recently demolished and torched by Metro Police. The residents lost everything, even their meagre possessions. The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered the council to provide relief for the shack dwellers, but a final verdict will only be delivered on 3 August 2010. Click here for the full story. I cannot help but wonder who these people would be voting for if we had a National Election this month, and not in 4 years from now!
While I’m thinking about how strange it is for people to change their views in an instant, I couldn’t help but notice a rather strange phenomenon (actually a natural phenomenon) taking place among the impoverished people of South Africa: They stick to their own kind, almost as if apartheid (separate development) was a natural inborn impulse. Although unemployment is affecting everyone (except criminals and government employees), irrespective of the colour of your skin, there is a definite tendency among the poor not to mix with other races. This tendency is also evident among the various black races, hence the many threats and incidents of xenophobia among them.
This brings me to the next question: Is the success of a democratic country and the contentment of its citizens totally dependant on money? In other words, will we achieve true democracy sooner by pumping billions and billions of rands into the development of various social systems? The obvious answer is NO; South Africa will never achieve democratic freedom for all its people, for the simple reason that CRIMINAL TERRORISTS, dressed in high-priced suits, have been ruling the country for the past 16 years. They have stolen billions upon billion, and they will continue to do so for as long as they can remain in power.
It is through their selfish greed that 5.5 million people are damned to a life of destitution. What has happened in this country is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY – and yes, I am shouting out these words on your screen in bold capital letters, because it is the plain miserable truth!
These same terrorists have now been reclassified as “Freedom Fighters”, and then they have the audacity to boast about this! The worldview has become so distorted when it comes to terrorism that we cannot even formulate a universal binding definition of the crime anymore, never mind recognising the fact that terrorists tend to change their tactics, and that psychological warfare is also a weapon.
One often reads reports on how the government is mismanaging funds, and how government officials in high places are ill-equipped to perform the tasks they were allocated. Has anyone stopped to think that maybe they are in fact ‘Masters of Mis-Management’, and that this is maybe their real objective? Once in a while they sacrifice the Selebi-type among them, -- just to keep the world’s assessment of their performance in a good light.
I don’t even want to talk about the 2010 World Cup farce, -- that extravagant, costly, and wasteful advertisement, that was put on display here to con the entire world. The arrogance of it all makes my blood boil!
Job stats a national catastrophe - COSATU
By Patrick Craven (COSATU national spokesperson)
The news that a further 61 000 jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2010, on top of the 171 000 jobs which disappeared during the first quarter, and the 870 000 last year - amounting to a colossal 1102 000 since the beginning of 2009 - will cause many workers to question whether 16 years of democracy have done them any good at all.
On average every worker supports five dependents, which means that over 5.5 million additional people have been plunged into a life of poverty and misery in just 18 months. The fact that rate of job losses in South Africa is slowing down will be no comfort to those 5.5 million who are now condemned to a life of destitution.
As well as the direct, devastating effect that such a level of unemployment and poverty has on the individual workers who have lost their jobs and their families, the crisis reaches into every aspect of life.
Thousands of unemployed workers live in shacks with no water, electricity or other basic services. They still face a two-tier education system, a collapsing public health service and still no progress towards a National Health Insurance Scheme. While more and more workers sink into deep poverty, they see a small minority earning millions and living in luxurious mansions.
Such poverty and inequality aggravates all the anti-social consequences which we see more and more - violent community protests, crime, xenophobia and the collapse of social and moral values. Such a level of unemployment is not just a personal and family disaster but a national catastrophe.
The official unemployment rate, which excludes those who have given up looking for work, rose to 25, 3% from the 25, 2% in the first quarter, and remains at an absolutely unacceptable level, far above that of any comparable country, the highest in 62 countries tracked by Bloomberg news agency.
And the more realistic expanded unemployment rate, which includes those who have given up looking for work, increased from 35, 4% to 35.9% over the first quarter.
The Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey has revealed that formal-sector employment fell by 1, 4% in the second quarter, driven by jobs lost in the construction, transport and agriculture sectors. They also revealed that informal sector employment increased by 5, 7% or 115 000 jobs in the 2nd quarter.
This indicates that the casualisation of labour is gaining momentum at an alarming rate. As decent jobs disappear, more and more workers are being forced into low-paid and insecure forms of casual employment.
These statistics make COSATU more determined than ever to campaign, in the short term, for a significant cut in interest rates, to provide relief for employers struggling to avoid retrenching workers and an incentive to those wanting to create new jobs.
In the longer term however, it is became ever clearer that if we are serious about reversing the trend and creating jobs on the scale we need, we have to move rapidly on to a new economic growth path that shifts our economy from one based on the export of raw materials and capital-intensive sectors to one that is labour-intensive, based on manufacturing industry and meeting the basic needs of our people. Source: www.politicsweb.co.za
Statement issued by Patrick Craven, COSATU national spokesperson, July 27 2010
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