South Africa's Unemployment Rate At Its Highest Level In More Than A Decade
South Africa national symbols (Photo: Courtesy: Portfolio Collection)

South Africa’s unemployment rate stood at 29.1 per cent in the third quarter, compared to 29 per cent recorded in the second quarter.

Concise News reports that official data on Tuesday showed that the unemployment rate had remained at its highest level in more than a decade.

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The Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke said in Pretoria that the figure was the highest jobless rate since the survey started in 2008.

The agency said there were 6.7 million people without jobs in the three months, unchanged from the prior quarter.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work was 38.5 per cent, unchanged from the previous quarter.

US company buys 900 cellphone towers in South Africa for R2bn

In related news, Atlas Tower is selling its South African cellphone tower portfolio to another US group, SBA Communications, for R2bn.

The US company will dispose of more than 900 towers in South Africa to SBA, Atlas Chief Executive Officer Nathan Foster said in an interview in Johannesburg.

The agreed price takes account of previous investments made by the buyer into Atlas’s business, he said.

“This will be the first African-focused sale for Atlas Towers,” the CEO said.

SBA, which is headquartered in Florida in the US, owns towers throughout North and South America.

“We believe South Africa represents a fantastic growth opportunity,” SBA CEO Jeffrey A. Stoops told RCR Wireless News recently.

“We look forward to incremental growth opportunities throughout South Africa over the coming years as the wireless carriers in this market continue to invest meaningfully in 4G and, at some point, 5G deployments.”

Rising demand for high-speed internet across Africa has made the tower industry a hotbed for deal making, with wireless carriers looking to sell out to specialist providers.

South Africa is seen as a particularly attractive market, as the country is looking to start 5G services over the next two years.

Helios Towers raised $364 million in a London share sale earlier this month as investors looked to capitalize on the growth of tower services in countries such as Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.

American Tower Corp. agreed to buy Eaton Towers Ltd. for about $1.85 billion in May to combine resources on the continent.