Auto, mining, IT earmarked for jobs

2011-02-15 20:36

Cape Town - Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on Tuesday outlined developments in car manufacturing, mining and the IT industry he said would create thousands of new jobs.

Patel told the National Assembly that car makers - including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Toyota - had announced a total of R10bn worth of investment in South Africa. Two of the contracts alone would create 2 000 jobs.

Another 2 000 jobs will be created in the IT sector, in part through state plans to incentivise the manufacture of devices that can convert old televisions to the digital platform.

Patel said a baby care project announced by Proctor & Gamble and new investments by Nestlé and Pioneer in the agro-processing sector would also contribute to job creation.

Elaborating on President Jacob Zuma's commitments on curbing unemployment, Patel said the government would set modest job creation goals for this year and build up towards its target of creating five million new jobs by 2020.

"This year we will take steps that will facilitate immediate job-creation and also lay the basis for long-term sustainable job creation," he told MPs in the debate on the president's speech.

"Our approach is to begin with more modest targets for the first five years and progressively build on these, to achieve the five million jobs by 2020."

Patel added that the country could only achieve this ambitious target "if we unlock the job-creating capacity in the private sector".

He said the government recognised that well-designed developmental programmes that fight poverty, inequality and unemployment would in themselves promote economic growth and employment.

The Zuma administration believed that many South Africans lived on the sidelines of the economy because of a lack of infrastructure like roads and electricity.

"We need to fix this. We will use infrastructure as a key trigger for growth and jobs," he said.

"Over the next four years to 2014, our infrastructure expenditure estimates provide for more than a quarter trillion rands a year."

Eskom and Transnet would play a vital role in improving infrastructure but would also stimulate the economy and "create jobs on scale".

The electricity supplier would enroll 8 000 artisans by 2015 and is expected to have 6 800 new qualified artisans.

He said the Industrial Development Corporation "can do more" to strengthen investment in industrialisation, and would over the next five years allocate R25bn to investments in the green economy and R5bn for agro-processing partnerships with the private sector.

Mining had a vital role to play, and created 17 000 new jobs in 2010, Patel said.

The government would work with the industry to expand mining output, and hoped to set up an integrated metals beneficiating plant.

If studies showed that it were feasible, the venture would involve R15bn worth of investment and had the potential to create 7 000 jobs in building and operating the plant, he said.

  • Sceptic - 2011-02-15 19:35

    IT? Patel has clearly no clue. IT is not a simple show and do type of industry. It is this mentality that created a billing system in jhb that does not work, eNatis problems and many other failed or nearly failed systems wasting millions of precious tax rands. The industry is already suffering from too many wannabe programmers and technicians that have no clue what they are doing. IT unfortunately only reward years of dedication and passion and not those just looking for a jooob.

  • Parko - 2011-02-15 20:26

    Why not encourage IT outsourcing ? ( for us to become an outsourcer ).

  • David - 2011-02-15 21:56

    If the abovementioned car companies announce big investment plans, how does this become "government creating jobs"? Governments do not create jobs, the best that they can do is create a friendly environment for business to flourish.

  • Banks - 2011-02-16 06:55

    I consult in IT at several Banks in SA and there the fad is to outsource to Indian companies to gain a "cost saving" of about 5% so that the CIO can get his 5-10mil bonus for "saving" a few 100k in year one. Unfortunately this "saving" disappears after year two as the escalation he/she agreed to with these companies (and the term involved is usually 5 years +). No bother. CIO makes more empty promises and then leaves, just to do the same at the next company. There is a serious lack of vision within SA's senior management. To gain a quick buck in their own pockets they're the ones causing the skills shortages in SA, making their companies reliant on foreigners. I've tried to get a 'local' (BEE) in at no cost just to gain some experience - not one company is willing to allow that. I would call on govt to investigate the amount of foreigners in SA's banking sector. And yes - there are local skills. Make work visa's more difficult to obtain and reward companies that employ locals.

  • A-Z - 2011-02-16 07:01

    Crfeate jobs by fixing the roads the state they are in should keep a couple people busy for a long time

  • Terry - 2011-02-16 07:14

    The question arises as to who pays for the above developments ? It is easy to allocate a budget amount but can SA afford the expenditure. We still have to sort out who pays for the Gauteng road developments that created many welcome jobs.

  • Pavska - 2011-02-16 08:01

    @Sceptic Kindly explain how the eNaTIS is "wasting taxpayers money" ?

  • Shrek - 2011-02-16 12:47

    Lets not forget that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost WHEN the mines are Nationalised. Anglo American already stated that it will not be feasible for them to continue in SA.

  • Gina - 2011-02-23 15:52

    Mr Patel what about all the unskilled workers in this country who require, just normal labour work, whats going to happen to them. Our 30 -60 year old parents who still have children in school who do not have the education in IT etc, who is going to creat jobs for them?

  • Siener - 2011-02-28 10:03

    Ag PLEAAASEE!! And how many will be fired for incompetence 3 months down the line. Since lowering the matric standards, they can’t spell, do basic maths or read. IT is a specialist skill, and if you do not have the drive or passion you will fail in IT. Please explain the concept of creating jobs? If you have a1000 hectare farm and employ 20 farm workers, you can’t now suddenly hire 10 more – if there is no more work to be done, there is no more work OR are they now all going to work half day?

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