During last year’s budget speech, finance minister Tito Mboweni introduced an important point: supporting existing jobs. It was salient then, as it is now, because SA is not only dealing with the challenge of job creation, given the increase in new entrants to the job market; it also faces alarming numbers of job losses, speaking to the need to support existing jobs.

This could not have been more evident in the latest employment numbers from Stats SA. The statistics authority, earlier this month, told us that while the unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 29.1%, unemployment itself is increasing. Though the number of people who are employed increased by 45,000 between the third and the fourth quarters of 2019, this was down 108,000 against the fourth quarter of 2018.

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