Galvanising business, labour and government into taking action against the country’s unemployment crisis has become a key task of all leaders when assuming office — and President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to be no different. An epidemic of unemployment has engulfed SA for decades, worsening every year as prospects for growth and investment dissipate. Former president Jacob Zuma promised in his maiden state of the nation address that his government would create half a million new jobs by the end of 2009. Although the country had recently been hit by a recession and the global economy was still in crisis, the promise revived hope among the millions of South Africans who were struggling to get jobs and slipping deeper into poverty with each passing day. The unemployment rate was 24.9% in the third quarter of 2009, shortly after Zuma delivered his address. When he was pushed out of office by the ANC last week, the most recent rate was 26.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017, with 5.9-million ...

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