Cape Town - Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel on Wednesday appeared to endorse Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s suggestion that labour laws might need to be relaxed to create more jobs.
At a conference in Johannesburg earlier this week, Gordhan said it might be necessary “to change the way we see the labour dispensation in South Africa“.
Laws might need to be relaxed to allow young people to enter the workplace and gain skills and experience at lower wages, but not at the expense of people who already had jobs.
Unless such changes were made, “we will not be able to make the breakthrough we need to create jobs“, Gordhan said.
In the National Assembly on Wednesday, Opposition leader Athol Trollip asked Manuel whether he agreed with Gordhan’s “assertion that we would have to look at restrictive labour legislation if we are to create more jobs in the economy“.
Manuel replied that he had studied the text of Gordhan’s speech, and this was but one snippet.
However, he then said: “I think all what he said is a position that I would endorse wholeheartedly. We must let nothing stand in the way of job creation in this country.”