With 29.1% umemployment rate, Load-shedding could result in job losses, warns smelting industry

Concerted effort is what is required to address the load shedding crisis, to avoid  job losses.

Eskom implemented stage 6 load-shedding on Monday for the first time.

Eskom’s unpredictability has lead to multiple businesses losing profits due to a loss of production time.

Ferro Alloys Producers Association of South Africa (Fapa) says it has lost about 12- hours of production due to the ongoing load-shedding.

Fapa’s chairperson, Chabisi Motloung warned that if load-shedding continues, they could see job losses at a very fast pace.

“Basically when you’re having stage 4 and stage 6, the job losses…you basically fast-tracking the imminent demise of the industry which without government intervention can only happen much quicker,” said Motloung.

Motloung said the smelting industry believed they have solutions for Eskom.

“We have brought solutions earlier in the year…to say we as the industry, we willing to come to the table and come to some sort of agreement to try and allow Eskom to do the necessary maintenance that is required because you cannot run this vehicle forever. It needs tostop and be maintained,” he said.

“We saying the switching off power stations has to be planned, especially the old plant, the older power stations — they need to be switched off at a plant basis. Switch off longer and industry can cut back and allow Eskom do to the necessary maintenance so that the old plant can come back online,” Motloung said.

He added that the association wanted to participate and be part of the solution.

Already, South Africa’s unemployment rate has worsened to 29.1%, the highest level in more than 11 years.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday announced the findings of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the third quarter of 2019, at a briefing in Pretoria.

The unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point from the previous quarter to 29.1%. “This is the highest since the first quarter of 2008,” Maluke said.

In the last 10 years the unemployment rate increased by 4.6 percentage points. In the last five years the unemployment rate rose by 3.7 percentage points and in the past year, unemployment rose by 1.5 percentage points.

Numerically, the working population is comprised of 38.6 million people. A total of 23.1 million are active in the labour force, while 6.7 million are unemployed and 15.5 million are not economically active.

Over the past quarter, the number of unemployment people grew by 78 000, while those in employment grew by only 62 000 people. The number of discouraged workers increased by 44 000 during the quarter.


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