Increasing Unemployment In South America

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Privatizations efforts also come hand in hand with massive layoffs. For Telkom’s case, twenty thousand workers were also fired. Another thirty thousand jobs were loss in nationalizing the state-owned electricity firm Eskom. Proponents of GEAR promised 3-4 percent annual employment growth, but instead delivered 1-4 percent job loss during the late 1990s. Unemployment rates grew from 16 percent in 1995 to 30 percent in 2002, coincided with the sale of over 30 SOEs at value of over R35 billion (Afeikhena, 11). Unemployment creates a gap between the employed and unemployed, increasing the degree of income inequality. Since low-skill, low-education workers take the hardest hit from the structural changes, many become discouraged and stop seeking …show more content…
Many South Africans live in “shacks” or informal dwellings that are supposed to be temporary, at least until the government build new residential units. In 1996, there were 1.4 million units. In 2011, this number grew to 1.9 million, representing 13 percent of all South African households (Wilkinson). What accounted for this housing backlog is the challenge of “decreases in national housing expenditure and inadequate funding”, as stated in the Housing Delivery in South Africa Report by the Fuller Housing Center (12-13). Decreased government spending put the poorest and most vulnerable of residents in an even worse condition than before the apartheid. Despite an increase in the number of shacks, these post-apartheid units are often only half the size of the original 40 sqm “matchbox” houses built during the apartheid. The depressing reality is accurately captured in the Fuller Report: “there is just too little attention spent on non-subsidized efforts and spending for low-income housing” (13). When parts of South Africa experiences rapid urbanization and economic prosperity, the cities’ edge are getting filled with informal shacks that segregate and marginalizes low-income groups. The growing inequality, poverty was the unavoidable result of decreased housing spending outlined by the GEAR …show more content…
Made possible under relaxed labour laws proposed by GEAR, large numbers of migrant workers enter the cities from rural areas and foreign countries. South African residents accused them of “illegally owning and occupying government-provided houses while South Africans remain homeless” (Misago 19-28). Business owners and workers facing labour and market competition responded to migrants with escalating racial conflict and xenophobia. In a Human Rights Watch report, Zimbabweans reported that they were “physically assaulted over a period of several weeks in January 1995, as armed gangs identified suspected undocumented migrants and marched them to the police station in an attempt to 'clean ' the township of foreigners.” In 2005, foreigners’ homes in Olievenhoutbosch were set ablaze, following accusations of the murder of a local man (Misago 19-28). The topic of housing has been at the forefront of racially motivated violence in South Africa, with similarities to apartheid period violence. Post-conflict reconstruction should in theory protect the vulnerable, redress inequality and injustice and provide economic opportunities for all. The failing situation was admitted by even the Johannesburg housing minister himself: “If we are to integrate communities both economically and racially, then there is a real need to depart from the present concept” (Quoted in Saul and Bond). The

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