S.Africa’s unemployed are voiceless - CNBC Africa

S.Africa’s unemployed are voiceless

Southern Africa

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South Africa's unemployment rate was at 25.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2013.

“There is no real voice shouting for the unemployed. We have COSATU and unions shouting for the employed – we were just talking about Amplats shedding workforce, it’s not just Amplats, its many companies out there who the only way to absorb the high increases is to actually shed jobs at the end of the day,” Khokhela’s managing director Laurence Grubb told CNBC Africa.

“What it does is, it puts more burden on those who are employed to support those that are unemployed.”

Statistics South Africa reported that unemployment in the country was at 25.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 and, according to a report by consulting firm, Khokhela, the gap between the employed and unemployed is set to widen due to strikes.

“The biggest concern by far is what we call the 'no wage gap' and that is the unemployed versus the employed. I think even the lowest paid workers in South Africa are reasonably well-off against many other low wage earners in other countries,” Grubb explained.

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“It’s not to say that’s the way it should stay or that they have enough or we’re saying that they shouldn’t ask for more, but I think the biggest issue really is around the unemployed and how do we go about trying to create more employment in South Africa.”  

Grubb added that in terms of executive remuneration packages, which have often been compared to the salaries of other staff members, one would probably see executive pay rising as the economy grows and a company’s performance improves.

“Looking at executive pay, the CEO and executives, over the last few years – that has appeared to level off and that does seem to show a link to performance. Short-term incentives in particular have been reduced and, in fact, CEOs and executives are almost back to the level of 2008 in terms of remuneration,” he said.

“One also has to look at South Africa’s top executives in terms of global earnings and potential, South African executives are in demand because they have proved to be successful globally. We would rather have some slightly overpaid executives who are successfully growing the economy and companies than underpaid mediocre executives where they’re shedding jobs all the time."

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