[Opinion] Joblessness and reliance on grants - research centre's analysis paints grim picture of struggling SA

The unemployment rate has led many South Africans to rely on social grants, says senior analyst at the Centre for Risk Analysis (CRA) Bheki Mahlobo.

Speaking on Thursday at a webinar before the launch of the Socio-Economic Survey of SA, he said the number of social grants paid in September 2021 was about 25-million compared to less than 15-million people in the employment sector.

The CRA provides political risk, economic policy advice and scenario planning services to organisations and individuals.

Its stats show that the fourth-quarter unemployment rate in 2021 was 46.2%. “The unemployment rate is the highest it has ever been since 1994,” he said.

Among other trends discussed were the economy and the labour market and social indicators, including welfare, living conditions, crime and the main risks for SA in the next decade.

CRA head of research Thuthukani Ndebele said working on the survey never stops. “We brainstorm and think about what we would like to include in the report.

“We don’t just update the survey. We use official sources and unofficial sources and in certain fields we rely on polling. And from a number of sources it gives us a unique product, because you have lots of data.”

CEO David Ansara said they measured several variables and trends showing the downward spiral.

“When we compare this to the world average, the picture is dire. The right policy is what we need,” he said.

Article originally appeared here.

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