By Daniel Itai – The Zimbabwe Daily

Pretoria, South Africa – According to the quarterly national statistics revealed by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), the national unemployment rate is now at 30.1 percent.

Yesterday’s revelation is based on a survey conducted by StatsSA before the country went into lockdown on the 27th of March this year.

This relatively means that over 18 million South Africans are now unemployed, with youths and women being hit the hardest.

Some economists have even predicted that by the end of the year, the southern African country could be having an unemployment rate of over 40 percent.

Companies in the aviation, construction, entertainment and hospitality sectors have indicated plans to cut jobs because of heavy losses experienced in the past three months.

“For a country which was already facing an unemployment crisis and weak economic growth, difficult decisions and difficult days lie ahead,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, the country’s President.

The Bureau of Economic Research (BER) also noted that there was going to be a major deficit in the country’s budget primarily due to the diversion of funds which are now assisng in the fight against COVID-19.

“The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has already indicated that, relative to the February budget, revenue in the 2020/21 fiscal year could be a massive R285 billion (approximately US$16.5 billion) below the projection at the start of the year, based on this, one can infer that Treasury expects a main budget deficit of about 14 percent of the GDP in the 2020/21 financial year,” the BER said.