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Duma Gqubule writes that “with an annual average of 6% GDP growth until 2030, we would only reduce the number of unemployed by 1.1-million. There would still be about 11.4-million unemployed people by the end of the decade, and the expanded unemployment rate would decline to 34.2% from 46.6%” (“What I told the president about fiscal constraints,” February 14).

My maths is that at that rate of growth, the narrow unemployment rate would fall to just over 25% in 2030. Sustain that for a further decade to 2040 and the rate would fall to just under 18%. Push well beyond the predictable horizon to 2050 and the rate would fall to just over 12%.

Had SA joined other emerging markets in recovering from the 2008 global financial crisis to resume the rates of economic growth it experienced ahead of that crisis, the country’s unemployment rate would today sit in that 12%-18% band.

Those numbers set out the formidable reform challenges that lie ahead for SA, but also the considerably better society that would materialise if they are met.    

Frans Cronje
Via email

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