Spotlight on unemployment

More than one in four South Africans can't find work. In survey after survey, people rank this as the country's biggest problem. Here is our in-depth series on unemployment.

This series will consist of about a dozen articles published during mid- to late-February 2019.

Unemployment: our biggest problem

We are taking an in-depth look at the issue South Africans are most concerned about


Feature | 12 February 2019

Unemployment rate keeps climbing

Quarterly survey says 27.1% of the labour force is out of work. A year ago it was 26.7%


Brief | 12 February 2019

After years of fruitless job searching, Ayanda Kunene decided to create his own work

“There are so many people in our community who are unemployed yet we still see rubbish lying around”


News | 13 February 2019

How employment has changed in 10 years

Manufacturing — a vital industrial sector — has shed 300,000 jobs


News | 13 February 2019

Why is South Africa’s unemployment rate so high?

If people are not willing to invest in a country, it is almost impossible to generate new jobs, writes Professor Vimal Ranchhod


Opinion | 14 February 2019

The men who make a living from an old gold mine dump

“The gold is right here in the soil”


Feature | 14 February 2019

“I am living and working for the next meal”

Khumbuzile Phakamile survives by selling empties to shebeens and trying to find gardening jobs that pay a pittance


News | 14 February 2019

Changing the way our colleges work is key to reducing unemployment

Business should inform curricula to prepare South Africa for the fourth industrial revolution, writes Business Unity SA CEO Tanya Cohen


Opinion | 15 February 2019

Nelisa Pambane travels hundreds of kilometers to sell scrap metal

“I may not be employed but I will never let my children and me starve.”


News | 15 February 2019

South Africa’s failure to create manufacturing jobs

To reduce unemployment South Africa needs to prioritise labour-intensive work instead of higher wages, write professors Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass

By and

Opinion | 18 February 2019

Low wages will not solve South Africa’s unemployment problem, argues economist

Growth in manufacturing is essential but not at the expense of workers


Interview | 18 February 2019

How to reduce unemployment? Two opposing views

How do we reduce unemployment? That is possibly the most important policy question facing South Africa.


GroundView | 18 February 2019

Unemployed for three years, Thulani Ngwenya believes entrepreneurship is the way to go

“There are many opportunities in our townships, it is just a matter of finding them.”


News | 20 February 2019

Stats SA’s confusing mining employment statistics

Quarterly Labour Force Survey is the definitive source for most sectors, but not for mining


Analysis | 21 February 2019

Reconsidering South Africa’s approach to waste pickers

Waste pickers must be integrated into the formal waste management sector, says researcher


News | 22 February 2019

Waiting and hoping the whole day for work

“Sometimes in a week I get maybe one job. If I am lucky I get two jobs and I make R150 per job.”


Photo Essay | 26 February 2019