Fin24

Job creation urgent: Motlanthe

2011-05-30 14:16

Johannesburg - Economic trends and the experience of social dialogue point to the need to prioritise employment creation in economic policy, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe said on Monday.

He was addressing delegates from organised labour, business and civil society, academics and representatives of research institutions and multilateral agencies, attending the inaugural economic development conference convened by Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel.

"In policy terms, the framework response to the global downturn agreed between the Nedlac constituencies pointed the way toward improved collaboration between stakeholders around economic development.

"The question we now need to ask is how to sustain this kind of constructive and active solidarity. We need to reflect on and learn from our successes in this critical area of social dialogue," Motlanthe said.

He noted that the conference came at a particularly important time for the global economy as the past two years marked a clear shift in international economic relationships.

Motlanthe said on the one hand, the economic model in the global North led to a sharp economic decline starting in 2008, and continued instability since then.

"In contrast, the global South saw a relatively rapid and strong recovery, led above all by continued extraordinary rates of growth in China and India.

"For South Africa, this strategic conjuncture brought opportunities and lessons in both the economic and policy-making arenas," Motlanthe said.

He said a relatively rapid recovery in the gross domestic product (GDP) after three quarters of contraction in 2009 was observed. However, in contrast, both employment and private investment returned to growth slowly.

"Only in the past six months have we seen a return to job creation, with formal-sector employment gains in particular. Still, employment remains about 5% lower than it was two years ago - a situation South Africa can ill afford, given high joblessness even before the downturn," Motlanthe said.

While government welcomed the growth in employment, it must still ask how it could ensure it was more sustainable in the future.

"We cannot continuously create employment in the upturn, only to have massive job losses in downturns wipe out the gains," he said.

On the one hand, the state must support more and more efficient economy overall, with a capacity to react rapidly to changing conditions and ensuring adequate infrastructure systems, education and social services.

"For this reason, we have intensified efforts to improve quality education and skills development and committed to high levels of public investment," Motlanthe said, adding that this was accompanied by a commitment to reduce red-tape.

"On the other hand, the state must intervene systematically and consistently to transform exclusionary economic systems and structures that reproduce joblessness and inequality," he said.

To achieve this end, Motlanthe said government must encourage more labour intensive sectors.

He said in this context, government would support new forms of ownership that empowered people on a mass scale that included both small and micro enterprise, but also collective and social ownership.

"To achieve these aims, given our apartheid history, rural development, overcoming inequalities in education and access to skills and strong support for agriculture, light industry and productive services are particularly important.

"We have a long-standing vision for our society: a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa in which citizens have decent livelihoods," Motlanthe said.

Comments
  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-05-30 14:38

    Less talk, more action. ANC is forever coming up with wonderful statements, but they carry on stealing from public coffers.

  • PikeLee - 2011-05-30 14:44

    Jobs for locals, or jobs for immigrants that cross our borders in their thousands every week?

  • htiek - 2011-05-30 14:53

    Sir, if you want to create jobs you really need to consider the impact that Sbu is going to have with the rollout of the toll roads amongst other problems such as the ridiculous wage increases that are demanded by unions and workers alike and uncompetitive labor laws. SA is in no position to compete with the original BRIC clan and that is where we are losing out too.

  • kilo39 - 2011-05-30 14:53

    a square peg will rarely fit in a round hole. Unless we have long term plans of reducing unwanted births and empowering women to say no to becoming baby factories as espoused by one Malema, the problem of there being not enough jobs will not go away. Get real Leaders of this country...it's time to shift your focus to quality of life and not quantity.

      Lorenzo Leaner - 2011-06-07 15:09

      Finally, there is someone echoing what I have been saying for ages. You hit the nail on the head with your statement.

  • Vicker - 2011-05-30 14:54

    Focus on getting the basics right - ALL the basics - and the scoreboard will take care of itself...The inverse is of course also true, the results of which we are seeing now...

  • GT - 2011-05-30 15:02

    Get rid of the commies running the show, boot the useless trade unions and slice the red tape. There is no business case to be made for increasing staff in South Africa. Sort yourself out in Pretoria and then lets open for trade and jobs.

  • OldSA - 2011-05-30 15:03

    Kgalema, you don't have to look further than South Africa to create jobs. SA's infrastructure is in dire need of maintenance. Start with employing people to maintain our infrastructure.

  • masese.madigoe - 2011-05-30 15:10

    We have heard this story before, Mr Motlanthe. Isn't job creation a sole responsibility of the government? Masese

  • Gcobani - 2011-05-30 15:19

    i think we have been hearing this for far too long. please give us the job don't talk about them non stop without delivery.

  • Willie - 2011-05-30 15:23

    I would like to know where the money to pay the people will come from. A lot of businesses sufer as it is, and when they try and retrench people the unions give them hell. If there were more money going to the right places and not corrupt officials pockets more people could be employed.

  • Staalbal - 2011-05-30 15:25

    Get rid of the trade unions

  • Stryder - 2011-05-30 15:29

    Blah Blah, Job Creation, blah blah inequality, blah blah. Heard it all before. Stop your socialist crap and then maybe...just maybe things will get better.

  • shmangle - 2011-05-30 15:39

    In order to create jobs, they need to "harness global opportunities", and yet when one of those opportunities (WALMART) comes knocking at the front door, they start insisting that shoes must be taken off and a little song and dance be done before we let them in. Pathetic.

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-05-30 15:43

    Mr Mothlante - The Bottom line is Business are prevented from employing people due to the restrictive labour laws - Challenge to you Mr Mothlante try opening a small business, you WILL have to employ a full time labour expert as well as a full time accountant to deal with SARS,UIF,WORKMANS COMPENSATION,HEALTH AND SAFETY,PAYE - THIS MR MOTHLANTE is killing small business and restricting opening of new businesses - First create a climate where we can employ people - Start at the beginning. You have an obligation to the people who put you in power. WALK THE WALK WE ARE TIRED OF TALK THE TALK

  • bg - 2011-05-30 15:43

    These guys just don't get it , do they. All this fancy talk really does not contribute to increased employment. It is ironic that they acknowledge big strides in China, India etc where there is practically no restrictive labour laws and yet they still believe that introducing more rigid labour requirements on employers in South Africa will create "decent" jobs. The opposite has proved to be true.

  • WiseOwl2 - 2011-05-30 15:51

    Mr Mothlante - The Bottom line is Business are prevented from employing people due to the restrictive labour laws - Challenge to you Mr Mothlante try opening a small business, you WILL have to employ a full time labour expert as well as a full time accountant to deal with SARS,UIF,WORKMANS COMPENSATION,HEALTH AND SAFETY,PAYE - THIS MR MOTHLANTE is killing small business and restricting opening of new businesses - First create a climate where we can employ people - Start at the beginning. You have an obligation to the people who put you in power. WALK THE WALK WE ARE TIRED OF TALK THE TALK

  • Liberated - 2011-05-30 16:08

    START FRAACKING IN THE KAROO, WE NEED THOSE JOBS

  • Benzo - 2011-05-30 16:09

    create the right atmosphere for the small business to flourish: easy come easy go labour, reduced paperwork, and proper tender opportunities based on competence = away with AA, BBEE, BBBEEE. stop talking, go to work -no words, but deeds

  • gallus - 2011-05-30 17:56

    18 years down the line and still the same twaddle! The trouble is that you guys just dont get it! Either you go the communist route and make everybody a state employee and lay down your ridiculous rules of employment equality and Bee and AA and all that nonsensical interference in private business OR you go the capitalist route and drop all that interfering bulltwang so that the entrepreneur can get on with the job. But you want to have your cake and eat it. Presently no entrepreneur wit any brains will start any business here and all those For Sale and To Let signs in the industrial parks say it all. Go to India and Brasil and learn some thing. But no, the South African Gentleman is born brilliant, who can teach him anything. So it will be more hot air and more moaning about apartheid and colonial past etc etc ad infinitum. And the guy is a joker - "improving quality education"?! Fantastic!

  • Boerseun - 2011-05-30 18:17

    Create an economic environment conducive to business, and the jobs will come automatically.

  • Boerseun - 2011-05-30 18:27

    Even the noises you make have a false ring to them! create an economic environment conducive to business, and the jobs will automatically be created. It is not the business of government to create jobs.

  • Nuck Choris - 2011-05-30 18:45

    Read the article on Magwa Tea an you will understand why we are going nowhere fast. It is the mentality you see. I m just saying....

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