Gordhan calls for labour law reforms
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
"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
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
"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.
IT IS ABOUT TIME THEY RELAXED THE LABOUR LAW. AFTER ALL THESE YEARS THEY CAN SEE IT DOES NOT WORK. BUSINESS IS RUN BY MAKING A PROFIT. IF THERE IS NO PROFIT A BUSINESS CANNOT RUN. THEREFORE, BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO CHOOSE STAFF, IF A PERSON IS NOT PRODUCTIVE THEN THAT PERSON SHOULD BE INFORMED THAT THEY EITHER SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE ENCOUNTERED PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY NOT A BIT INTERESTED IN THEIR JOB. THIS CREATES A BAD FRONTING FOR THE BUSINESS CONCERNED. I HAVE BEEN INTO HOME AFFAIRS TO RENEW A PASSPORT. THE BIG LADY CONCERNED LET ME STAND AROUND FOR A FEW MINUTES THEN PROCEEDED TO OPEN HER DRAW AND UNPACK HER PENS AND PENCILS. THIS AT 10AM. SHE TOOK GREAT PAINS TO HEAVE HERSELF OFF THE CHAIR TO COME TO THE COUNTER TO ASSIST ME. WHO WANTS THIS TYPE OF PERSON. THEN A WELL KNOWN BANK, THE TELLER HAD HIS ELBOW ON THE COUNTER RESTING HIS HEAD IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND, THIS WAS HOW HE WAS SERVING THE PEOPLE. A LOOK OF DISINTEREST ON HIS FACE. IS THAT GOOD FOR THE BANK. I DONT BELIEVE SO. IF LABOUR LAWS WERE A LITTLE MORE LENIENT IT WOULD ENCOURAGE WORKERS TO BE MORE EFFIENT AND PRODUCTIVE BECAUSE THEY WOULD REALISE THEY CAN BE SENT PACKING. BUSINESS WOULD ALSO BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE AND EMPLOY MORE WORKERS. WHAT MOST PEOPLE FORGET IS PRIDE, PRIDE IS THE WAY YOU DRESS, THE WAY YOU WORK AND THE WAY YOU AS A PERSON SEE YOURSELF AND YOU WOULD WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO SEE YOU IN THE SAME LIGHT.