President Ramaphosa, reverse SA’s record high unemployment rate; veto the EEB

30 March 2022 - South Africans face the bad news of a record high unemployment rate and must know that things could get even worse.

South Africans face the bad news of a record high unemployment rate and must know that things could get even worse.

If the Employment Equity Amendment Bill (EEB) becomes law it will push the country’s unemployment rate on the expanded definition through the 50% mark by disqualifying businesses on the basis of race from selling more value for less.

According to Stats SA’s latest survey, the unemployment rate has increased to a new record high of 35.3% on the narrow definition while remaining above 46% on the expanded definition. This dire consequence emanates from ideas and policies that government chose to implement.

Dr Anthea Jeffery, Head of Policy Research at the IRR, has highlighted “the ten-year lockdown” of the economy, referring to government policies that frustrated work-seekers either directly or indirectly and put the country in a position where it could not handle the Covid-19 pandemic dislocations, which were exacerbated by maladministration.

A new path is needed for recovery; one which Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana initiated by exempting Transnet and Eskom from race-based tests on new tenders and which President Ramaphosa could elevate to national scale by vetoing the EEB.

The number of unemployed people increased by 278 000 to 7.9 million in the last quarter of 2021. Youth aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 34 recorded the highest unemployment rates of 66.5% and 43.5%, respectively.

Said IRR Head of Campaigns Gabriel Crouse: “South Africa needs to get all hands on deck, but Radical Economic Transformation ideologues would rather count melanin cells while ripping at the Constitution than get serious about getting to work.”

Increased capital formation and investment will happen at scale when government no longer adopts legislation that discourages business activity. South Africa had a period of major job growth in the mid-2000s and it can happen again.

Vetoing the EEB will not just stop the job-shedding spiral, it will also stimulate investment, which is the route to building new jobs.

Sign the IRR’s petition to veto the EEB:

Media contacts: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360;
Chris Hattingh, IRR Deputy Head of Campaigns – 083 600 8688;
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: