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COVID-19: South Africa Unemployment Rate Hikes To 30%

South Africa’s unemployment rate rose by one percentage point to 30.1 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the final three months of 2019, official data showed Tuesday.

AFP news agency gathered that the new data is a far cry from what analysts expected to be the ultimate fallout from the coronavirus which has infected more than 100,000 people in Afric’s most developed economy.

Statistics showed that the number of unemployed came to 7.1 million, with the formal sector shedding most jobs.

In the first quarter of 2020 most industries experienced job losses compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, the statistics agency said, adding the finance sector lost 50,000 jobs.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday made a statement warning on mass job losses and tough time ahead as the continent’s most industrialized country braces for the economic fallout from its strict anti-coronavirus measures.

The president imposed a strict lockdown on March 27 to try to limit the spread of Covid-19 and prepare hospitals for an expected surge in cases.

AFP news agency had on Monday, reported that most companies including public broadcaster SABC, last week announced plans to lay off staff.

The South African chamber of commerce and industry has warned that the unemployment rate could ride as high as 50 percent due to the Coronavirus pandemic.


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