4 Day Week

How a 4-Day Workweek Can Help Solve South Africa’s Current Unemployment Crisis

How a 4-Day Workweek Can Help Solve South Africa’s Current Unemployment Crisis

It’s hard for most South Africans to find gainful employment locally. Being one of the fortunate few to ply my craft abroad, as a writer I was just barely able to make ends meet when the pandemic and lockdown was at its worst back in 2020. I would soon shed the “struggling writer” cliché in the last quarter of 2022. Able to land a dream gig and only after a supreme effort of will not to give up while submitting close to 100 CVs!

Statistics South Africa’s quarterly labour force survey states that 169,000 jobs were gained in the last quarter of 2022, that still leaves 32,7% (approximately 15,9 million) of the population unemployed. This should be of great concern, considering the impact on our youth (more than two thirds are unemployed) and the mounting social ills faced on a daily basis.

My little brother and I touched on this topic this past weekend and he shared an interesting insight: Drop the minimum wage and have employers hire according to what they can reasonably afford. According to this view, employees would follow the money and go to work for bosses who can afford to pay more. This in turn creates a system of deregulation that intensifies competition between companies to retain their respective workforce.

While this system may have its fair share of flaws, I am not that opposed to it. Corporate monopolies have practically crippled the largest segment of society long before load shedding and all the other problems reared their heads. On closer inspection, we also find that the current 4 Day Week SA programme being piloted provides a way to solve South Africa’s current unemployment crisis. Even if we discount the fact that some participants would use the day off to start a new venture (entrepreneurs still create jobs here in Mzansi), a day off also creates room for new team members/employees to be onboarded to make up for potential capacity shortages.

In conclusion, South Africa’s unemployment crisis is a temporary problem that requires a long-term solution. Also, I believe that it is not that complex to solve. Keep it simple. As a start, the phrase “Each one, teach one.” can be adopted from a South African company perspective with “Each one, employ one.” becoming our new mantra.

4DayWeekSA #INFJ #dearINFJ #4DayWorkWeek #4DayWeek #FutureOfWork #NotJustADayOff #Entrepreneurship #LeadWithEmpathy #ProudlySouthAfrican #SouthAfricasDigitalRevolution #HumanEnergy #WorkTimeReduction #WellbeingInTheWorkplace #Proudly South African

David-John Wayne Bailey is an INFJ from Cape Town, a proud pioneer pilot participant of 4 Day Week SA and an advocate of a four-day week for everyone working in South Africa.