South Africa's unemployment

Unemployment in South Africa Climbs to 32.9% as Election Nears

South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 32.9% in Q1 2024, a significant increase from the previous quarter, according to national statistics agency StatsSA.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 330,000 to 8.2 million. This high unemployment is a significant political issue ahead of national and provincial elections on May 29.

Youth unemployment reached 45.5% in Q1, up 1.3 percentage points from the previous three months. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) is expected to drop below 50% of the vote in the general election on May 29 due to graft and mismanagement allegations.

If the party fails to secure a parliamentary majority, it would need to seek coalition partners to maintain power. The high unemployment rate has sparked protests and anti-foreigner sentiment. The liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) has attacked the ANC, highlighting that unemployment was lower in DA-run provinces.

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