World Economy

S. Africa Could Lose 58,000 Jobs

S. Africa Could Lose 58,000 JobsS. Africa Could Lose 58,000 Jobs

South Africa’s Solidarity union said on Tuesday that 58,549 workers could lose their jobs this year, with more than 29,000 jobs in the mining sector and 8,000 in the metal and engineering industry, Mineweb reported. Layoffs are a thorny political issue in Africa’s most industrialized economy where the jobless rate is around 25% and the ruling African National Congress faces a stern test in local elections in August. In a presentation, the union, which mostly represents skilled workers, said companies where its members work had received 88 layoff notices in the past 12 months. “The current pattern and wave of retrenchments are very similar to the situation at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 which was the precursor to the recession,” Solidarity general secretary Gideon du Plessis said. South Africa’s economy is barely growing, hobbled by power and skills shortages and depressed commodity prices.