‘I feel like a failure’: South Africans desperate amid spiralling unemployment

The Quarterly Labour Survey reveals that unemployment in SA has increased from 27.6% in the first quarter to 29% in the second.
Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Herman Verwey

South Africans on Wednesday painted a bleak picture of how they are struggling to find employment amid tough economic conditions.

They were speaking to Radio 702 in the wake of Statistics SA releasing shocking unemployment figures on Tuesday.

The Quarterly Labour Survey indicated that while employment in some industries, such as trade, had increased, more people hired in private households, mining and transport were being let go.

Unemployment has increased from 27.6% in the first quarter to 29% in the second.

Eusebius McKaiser asked listeners to share their stories.

A man, identified as Jason, from Bruma, Johannesburg, said he had been unemployed for a couple of months. “I’ve been struggling financially. My wife has been working for two years.”

Jason said he did not even have money to make copies of his CV. He was previously employed in the credit control department at an insurance company.

“We are borrowing from our parents. We borrow from everybody. It’s been extremely difficult sitting at home and thinking I can’t do anything to help my wife. I have developed an anxiety,” he said.

Naledi said she was a qualified statistician. “I find myself selling canopies. I feel like a failure. I can’t handle all my expenses. I have to go to my dad to help me out financially.

“It’s demoralising. I have to go and beg people to buy canopies. Part of me knows what I’m capable of,” she said.

Another caller, 64-year-old Carol, from Pretoria, said she was retrenched. “I have used up all the resources I had. I get help from my sister in Cape Town. She has to help me pay electricity and levies. I don’t even have food in my house.

“As a result, I’m thinking of selling my house. I have given up applying for work because they don’t come back to you. I am single. I am beginning to lose it.”




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