Statistics South Africa reports that South Africa’s population comprised 51 770 560-million in 2011. Sadly the unemployment rate has gone up with 0.4 of a percentage point quarter to quarter to 25.6 %. This renders more than a quarter of South Africa’s population unemployed, and highly stresses the need for infrastructure development.
When a country’s infrastructure is at a standstill, so are its people. Without new roads, adequate public transport, IT infrastructure, schools and healthcare facilities, a big gap in service delivery will remain, rendering a great deal of the population helpless with very little prospects of making a future for themselves.
On the upside, should government deliver on the promises it made in its National Infrastructure Plan for 2013, South Africa should see growth in terms of infrastructure, which will create employment for some of the 25.6% of the currently unemployed. In addition, it will help our economy grow, as South Africa’s logistics industry will be able to tackle more projects.
While the roll out of new infrastructure projects will boost South Africa’s economy and job creation, schooling, however, remains a problem. Therefore, the skills needed to ensure the successful roll out of infrastructure programmes are not always available.
“Employment increased by 100 000 between the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2013. Despite this, the increase in unemployment, by 122 000, resulted in an increase of 0,4 of a percentage point in the unemployment rate – from 25,2% to 25,6% between the two quarters. Year-on-year, employment rose by 274 000 while unemployment rose by 254 000,” Statistics South Africa reports.
Education plays a critical role in South Africa’s infrastructure development, which, in turn, affects the growth and profitability of the logistics industry.
In conclusion, it seems that most of South Africa’s problems with growth lie in an absence of educated citizens and a lack of infrastructure to boost skills and job opportunities.