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Gordhan calls for labour law reforms

Mar 07 2012 07:54 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has called for labour market reforms, according to a report on Wednesday.

"Given the scale of the unemployment challenge, no single policy offers the solution…. What is needed is a comprehensive set of reforms that maximise job creation," Gordhan said in an opinion piece in Business Day.

"Labour market reforms can directly improve employment by providing flexibility and the right incentives to work, to hire workers, develop skills, and become more productive," he said.

Gordhan said job creation could be enhanced through policies that improve job searching, job matching, training and entry into the labour market.

It was also crucial to implement reforms to improve the quality of education and skills development, he said.

However, Gordhan said it was still necessary to support the poor.

"Of course, there must be a credible and sustainable safety net and social protection systems for those unable to adapt or who are in weak bargaining positions.

"This is particularly the case in emerging markets and developing countries where poverty remains high and income support needs to be targeted at those who need it most."

The opinion piece is based on a paper Gordhan and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan submitted at a Group of 20 meeting in Mexico last month.

South Africa's unemployment rate was 23.9% in the last quarter of 2011, with about half of its young people unemployed.

 
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