Unemployment and poverty halved by 2014?
This paper examines the South African government’s mandate to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014, noting the growing evidence of the unlikelihood of this happening.
The paper registers the following findings:
- disagreements among academics on the severity of poverty is traced to the failure by Statistics South Africa to conduct adequate surveys on poverty
- examining the impact of the international crisis on employment and unemployment shows that the progress of poverty-elevation made since 2006 has been wiped out
- the results show that unless a miracle occurs, there is no possibility that unemployment will be halved by 2014
- in fact, even if it occurred, the residual poverty and unemployment would still be too high to be acceptable for much longer
- numerically, it is estimated that in 2014, there will still be between three and five million unemployed lacking any kind of income protection
- looking at the impact of HIV/AIDS on mortality, the number of poor would probably have been much larger in recent years; if the epidemic had not carried off so many people, some large proportion of whom would have been poor