The Africa Transformation Movement has noted, with great concern, the increase to 30.1% of the unemployment rate from the fourth quarter of 2019, where it was 29.1%. 

Noting that the number of unemployed youth has significantly decreased between Quarter 4 of 2019 and Quarter 1 of 2020, the burden of unemployment is concentrated amongst the youth (aged 15–34 years), as they account for 63,4% of the total number of unemployed persons.  This, unfortunately means that almost 4 in every 10 young people in the labour force did not have a job.

This then means that we have to do a complete overhaul of the current status of the South African economic landscape, especially during this coronavirus pandemic, and for this to be successful, we have many case studies to use such as the:

  1. Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act 865 of 2013;
  2. Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decree of 1971; 
  3. DRC 1973 Law forbidding foreigners from operating in the micro economy;

In ensuring that we “Put South Africans First”, we need to put in place regulations that give exclusive participation in the micro economy to South Africa citizens only (estate agencies; spaza shops; barbershops etc) This means participation in the township, inner city and rural economy by non-South Africans must be prohibited. 

In the macro economy, the economy must be opened up by dismantling the monopolistic culture of South Africa that bears many barriers for new entrants into the market.  A typical example is Botswana with a population of over 2 million citizens, yet having over 12 commercial; banks whereas we only have 4 that have monopolised the space with a population of 54 million plus.

Non-South Africans who wish to do business in South Africa must register, be taxed, audited and be given strict guidelines on employment ratios.  Their licenses must be periodically reviewed for compliance and they must ONLY be allowed to operate in the macro economy and upper tier of business activity.

In high commodities such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing, only South African citizens must be employed and be given preference, community share schemes must be put in place to ensure sustainable CSI programmes. 

We unfortunately cannot run away from the fact that for us to operate economically, we need include the youth in the economic space.  This cannot be achieved unless we put South Africans first, and ensure that the by-laws in all municipalities and upper levels of governance favour South Africans first. 

Issued by the African Transformation Movement 

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