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South Africa: Unemployment Reaches at Highest Level in a Decade at 29%

It is the latest grim report for Africa's most developed economy, which in May announced that growth had dropped by the most in a decade during the first quarter

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at the opening day of the International Labour Organization's annual labor conference in Geneva, Switzerland, June 10, 2019. VOA

South Africa says unemployment has reached its highest level in a decade at 29%. Second-quarter figures released Tuesday show the number of unemployed rose by 573,000 over the past year, with only 21,000 jobs created. It is the latest grim report for Africa’s most developed economy, which in May announced that growth had dropped by the most in a decade during the first quarter.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration is under public pressure to turn around the economy and clean up corruption. That dissatisfaction led to the worst election showing in 25 years for Ramaphosa’s ruling African National Congress in May.

The unemployment numbers were released on the same day that South Africa’s struggling state-owned power utility Eskom announced losses of more than 20 billion rand ($1.4 billion) last fiscal year. Eskom supplies about 95% of the country’s electricity and is at the center of Ramaphosa’s efforts to rid state-owned enterprises of corruption and mismanagement.

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Second-quarter figures released Tuesday show the number of unemployed rose by 573,000 over the past year, with only 21,000 jobs created. (Representational Image) Pixabay 

When Ramaphosa won election in May “we expected a solid emergency plan to address the economic challenges and these unemployment challenges,” Lumkile Mondi, an economics lecturer at Witwatersrand University, told The Associated Press.

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“But that has not been forthcoming and all we have had so far has been political bickering. The ruling party is more concerned about the politics of power than the health of the economy. That is why these figures were not necessarily unexpected,” Mondi said.

The ruling ANC faces an internal struggle between allies of Ramaphosa and former president Jacob Zuma, who led South Africa from 2009 to 2018 when he resigned under party pressure amid corruption allegations and was replaced by his former deputy Ramaphosa. (VOA)

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Rhino Poaching in Namibia Drops in 2019: Ministy of Environment and Tourism

Namibia Rhino poaching drops in 2019, after sharp rise last year

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Rhino poaching in Namibia has dropped since the last year. Pixabay

Rhino poaching in Namibia dropped to 41 individuals killed in all of 2019 so far, compared with nearly 72 during the same period last year, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said Saturday.

Namibia has the second-largest population of white rhinos in the world after South Africa and, according to NGO Save the Rhino, it holds one-third of the world’s remaining black rhinos.

Poaching in Namibia to feed mostly East Asian markets has yo-yoed since peaking in 2015 at 95 rhinos, falling to 60 in 2016, 36 in 2017 and then going up to 72 again last year — all figures counted from January through mid-December.

“The public continues to assist us in arresting perpetrators of this crime,” ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said by telephone. “We have also beefed up our intelligence so that we can anticipate poaching activities before they happen.”

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A newborn female southern white rhinoceros calf, born August 14 and weighing 50 kilograms, stands next to its mother, Tanda, at the Safari Zoo in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel. VOA

Despite being composed of the same substance as hair and fingernails, rhino horn is prized in East Asia as a supposed medicine for multiple ailments, and is also prized by business elites for trinkets and other products because of its rarity.

While cracking down on poachers, Namibia is also lobbying against the rules that govern the global trade in endangered species, after other countries rejected proposals to relax restrictions on legal hunting and exporting its white rhinos.

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It wants to allow more trophy hunting of rhinos and export of live animals, arguing that the funds it would raise would help it to protect the species, an argument rejected in August by countries that are party to the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species.

The ministry’s data showed 329 people were charged with poaching offenses between 2014 and 2018, of whom all were African apart from 17 Chinese. (VOA)