After months of lockdown in South Africa, Stats SA has released figures describing the state of the country’s employment. The fact that lockdown so its economy shrink by 16.4% means that the expectations were negative. However, confirming the sad reality put life to the concerns. The unemployment rate registered a new record standing at 32.5%, and it was an increase from the 28.9% reported in 2019. On the other hand, the percentages of youth unemployment and discouraged job seekers were 61.3% and 9.1%, respectively. Therefore, there is a need to implement successes quickly, if not immediately. A great way to see the country’s economy rise to its long-lost glory is by investing in the renewable energy industry.

One must admit that the unemployment issue is too real for the residents of South Africa. It is also important to note that the country has been registering a decrease in investments revolving around infrastructure for three consecutive years. However, all is not lost, and the economy’s equitable turnaround isn’t impossible. However, South Africa has to ensure that the youth become part of the workforce as soon as possible. The jobs will come from infrastructure projects, especially those in urban areas. Fortunately, the country has an easy way out, which is the renewable energy industry.

Nevertheless, a clean energy future in the country seems next to impossible. After all, there are barriers right, left, and center. Since 2016, investment in public infrastructure has been declining to the extent that it jeopardizes economic recovery. In 2019, it stood at R231 billion, which is a decrease from the R251 billion registered in 2018. The capital expenditure to GDP ratio has also not been spared. It now stands at 13%, way below Angola and Nigeria, 21.5% and 25.4%, respectively.

According to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, private investment has also decreased. Its study shows that the decrease in the investment in the public sector has had an adverse effect on the private sector leading to the decline. The overall growth of the country can be improved through an increase in competition. Another thing that can result in an improvement of the same is regulation policies in the product market.

That’s not all given measures that Eskom is taking. It has chosen to follow this path following a decline in its electricity by 0.4% for the last ten years. This decline has occurred due to the increase in the uptake of clean energy. Domestic users are embracing renewable energy since it spares them the agony of Eskom’s unreliability. Consequently, it is imposing tariffs on the households that have shifted to maintain its monopoly.

By Adam

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