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Innovation, diversification will reignite SA’s economy

By Nyiko Shiburi

Finding innovative solutions to tackl ing South Africa’s unemployment problems and deep-seated economic issues are critical for driving growth.

So much focus has rightly been on how lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic have brought the country’s economy to a stuttering halt and resulted in an increase in unemployment, but the reality is that these challenges existed in our country, before the arrival of the pandemic.

According to Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) in 2019, the country’s rate of unemployment sat at 29.1% in Q3 of that year – a number which caused alarm as it was noted as the highest rate since Statistics SA started measuring unemployment using the QLFS in 2008. The most recent QLFS puts that number at 32.5% and, while the loss of any job radiates catastrophic consequences for families, that increase swelled the total figure by 700 000 people to 6.5 million, meaning that an unacceptable 5.8 million were…

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