The Democratic Alliance has published an infographic showing “the cost of Zuma’s presidency” in terms of unemployment and growth, since he took office in 2009.
The party noted the rising cost of staples such as bread, maize and potatoes over the past six years, as well as the contrasting rate of GDP growth.
At the top of the list, however, the DA points out that there are over 2.2 million more unemployed workers today than there were in 2009.
According to the latest labour survey from Stats SA, South Africa’s unemployment rate is at its highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008. In the first quarter of 2016, the unemployment rate rose by 2.2 percentage points to 26.7% – reflecting a loss of 355,000 jobs.
Compared to 2009, when there were 6.7 million unemployed people in South Africa, in 2016 there are 8.9 million unemployed.
On Tuesday (17 May) the party put forward a proposed budget revision that would redirect R9.52 billion in the existing budget to channels which would promote job creation and crime prevention, while assisting student funding and increasing social grants.
The party proposed that the budget be adjusted to redirect R1.2 billion into projects which would generate 180,000 jobs in the Expanded Public Works Programme.
The proposal was shot down by the ruling ANC in Parliament.
It said that the proposed amendments are “budget neutral” and would not have had any effect on the current fiscal deficit, which is estimated to be R139 billion.
Notably, the party highlights that while growth has slowed down significantly, more people are unemployed and the cost of living has accelerated – the president’s salary has still increased by almost R600,000 over the past 7 years.
It should be highlighted that inflation and food prices – as well as South Africa’s economic growth – have also been affected by external factors.
Globally, the drive for commodities – South Africa’s key exports – has slowed significantly, especially with China, the world’s biggest consumer of commodities, facing its own economic slowdown.
South Africa has also been hit by severe drought, which when coupled with creeping growth and the weakness in the rand, has driven up food prices – specifically among staples such as maize.
However, economists have pointed out that it is undeniable that Zuma’s actions over the past few months specifically have had an adverse effect on the economy.
Source: Business Tech