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Over 600 Businesses In South Africa Bite The Dust In 2024

27 June 2024 – Over 600 businesses in South Africa have shut their doors in 2024 so far.

According to Stats SA’s latest data on liquidations for May, 125 businesses shut their doors in May – a decrease of 17.2% from May 2023.

Of these 125 closures, 114 were on a voluntary basis, while 11 were compulsory.

This takes the total liquidations for the first five months of 2024 to 638.

564 were on a voluntary basis, while 74 were compulsory.

That said, liquidations have declined compared to 2023.

The number of liquidations decreased by 9.3% in the three months ended May 2024 compared to the equivalent period in 2023.

The number of liquidations also decreased by 5.3% in the first five months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

On an industry-specific level, unclassified (44) saw the most liquidations in May.

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services (29) came second, while Trade, catering and accommodation (24) rounded off the top three.

On the other hand, agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing saw no closures over the month.

Electricity, gas and water saw its first liquidation of the year, ending its perfect streak over the first third of the year:

Bad time for jobs

The closure of these businesses does little to boost South Africa’s dim job prospects.

The latest Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) from Stats SA showed that total employment decreased by 67,000 or -0.6% quarter-on-quarter, from 10,731,000 in December 2023 to 10,664,000 in March 2024.

This was due to decreases in the following industries:

  • Trade (-57,000 or -2.4%)
  • community services (-18,000 or -0.6%)
  • business services (-4,000 or -0.2%)
  • mining (-3,000 or -0.6%)

However, there were increases in the following industries:

  • manufacturing (12,000 or 0.9%)
  • transport (2,000 or 0.4%)
  • construction (1,000 or 0.2%)

Total employment decreased by 74,000 or -0.7% between March 2023 and March 2024.

Full-time and part-time employment decreased by 16,000 or -0.2% and 38,000 or -3.1% quarter year-on-year, respectively.

The QES data broadly aligns with the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), in which South Africa’s unemployment rate increased by up to 32.9%.

While QES data specifically reflects the number of people receiving formal salaries, the QLFS follows more comprehensive employment and unemployment trends. Source: Business Tech