Extract It’s been 25 years since democracy dawned in SA. But apartheid’s legacies still scar the country. Poverty remains high; inequality remains extreme — and both follow racial lines. The same is true for unemployment. By conservative official standards, it stands at a staggering 27,6%, and it disproportionately affects black South Africans. Effective policies to combat SA’s plight require good ideas, resources and political will. They also, however, need to build on a solid understanding of the problem in the first place. How can defects in the labour market be tackled if we don’t know what’s actually going on there? Good and relevant statistics are central to effective policies.

Unfortunately, there are limits to how well SA’s statistics can capture the situation in the country. The international gold standard for employment figures comes from the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. According to its template, you count as unemployed if you (a) don’t work (a lot) ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now