"We can't grow our economy when our working population is unemployed"

This year South Africa has experienced a huge economic knock. We've been downgraded to junk status, entered a technical recession and have an extremely high unemployment rate.

According to economic strategist Thabi Leoka, these are the challenges that are hindering our economic growth. They also make it difficult to interpret the economy.

The South African economy is dynamic. It's noisy and currently it is very difficult to read. There are so many moving parts. The political overlay currently is influencing the trajectory of the economy.

Thabi Leoka, Economic strategist

One of the biggest challenges facing South Africa is the high amount of extreme poverty in the country. Yesterday, Stats SA’S Poverty Trends report revealed that the number of people living in extreme poverty increased to nearly 14 million between 2011 and 2015.

Read: Stats SA: Three out of five black people are poor

With so many of the working force living in poverty, Leoka says it is difficult for the economy to grow. This is disappointing for her she says because as a developing country, South Africa should be improving.

You see things like unemployment and the poverty report released by Stats SA and you think, a country like South Africa who has done so much, should be improving not regressing, especially with poverty levels.

Thabi Leoka, Economic strategist

This is because the country has matured in so many other aspects according to Leoka. She says corporate South Africa is doing quite well, although they could do more.

There are also institutions in government that focus on the economy and who do great ground work for enhancement, but, Leoka says they need to work more optimally. This is especially important when it comes to tackling poor performing sectors like mining or high unemployment rates.

Read: Why unemployment is escalating

As a country whose unemployment rate is about 28 %, you can't really grow an economy well or significantly if your working population is not working, discouraged or has stopped looking for a job.

Thabi Leoka, Economic strategist

One of the factors that upset or frustrate many South African's is our turbulent government's effect on the economy. Leoka says while she understands the frustration, she feels that we have a part to play to change this rather than just criticise.

According to Leoka, corporate SA has a huge amount of power and should be engaging and be putting pressure on government to make a change for the better.

Leoka will be part of the Lead SA Change Makers conference, where she will be sharing more insights.

To listen to the full interview listen below:

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Wages are too low and cost of living too high - National Planning Commissioner

Wages are too low and cost of living too high - National Planning Commissioner

Stats SA's Poverty Trends report shows that over 30 million South Africans are living in poverty and structural reform is needed.

Stats SA boss describes state of poverty in SA: 30 million living in poverty

Stats SA boss describes state of poverty in SA: 30 million living in poverty

Statistician-General Pali Lehohla released the Stats SA’s poverty trends report which looked at poverty between 2006 and 2015.

Stats SA: Three out of five black people are poor

Stats SA: Three out of five black people are poor

Statistics South Africa has announced that half of all South Africans are living below the poverty line.

THE COMMODIFICATION OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

THE COMMODIFICATION OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Anything which has to deal with searching for employment requires money.

Activating the employment industry

Activating the employment industry

Activate Change Drivers!

Popular articles
Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Makhabane says Ncwane was feeling weak yesterday and his wife phoned paramedics to check on him.

14 job titles that callers can't take seriously

14 job titles that callers can't take seriously

People do some very interesting things for a living, but some job titles are given more credit than others.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?