Zuma: Jobs, jobs and more jobs

2011-02-10 22:25

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma put job creation firmly on the top of government's agenda for 2011 in his state of the nation address, calling on all departments and the private sector to tackle the unemployment crisis.

Zuma announced the establishment of a jobs fund of R9bn over the next three years to finance new job-creation initiatives, and said the private sector would get billions in tax breaks to stimulate job growth in manufacturing.

At the same time, he signalled that he expected the business community to create most of the millions of new jobs the country needs.

"We cannot create these jobs alone. We have to work with business, labour and the community constituencies. While looking at the private sector in particular to help us create most of the jobs, government will certainly play its part."

He told parliament the Industrial Development Corporation had set aside R10 billion over the next five years for investment in economic activities with a high job creation potential.

"It is also my pleasure... to announce R20bn in tax allowances or tax breaks to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector," Zuma said.

Treasury officials said in fact the project was conceived in 2008, but could only be put into effect now because Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan needed to promulgate regulations to allow for the tax incentives. This happened in July 2010.

"So that is why it can only come into effect now," Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakhane said, adding that the department of trade and industry had begun receiving applications in this regard.

Whereas Zuma used his address last year to promise faster delivery, he claimed a number of successes this time around but conceded much more needed to be done.

Government would spend R2.6bn on water services this year.

Nationalisation fears

Other targets included giving the poor greater access to higher education, finalising the National Health Insurance policy and giving a third of the 1.2 million households living in informal settlements security of tenure within the next three years.

"By the year, 2014, 400 000 of the said households should have security of tenure and access to basic services."

The long-awaited NHI policy would be made public "soon" and government planned to improve health care this year by appointing "appropriate and qualified personnel to the right positions".

"We need qualified heads of department, chief financial officers, hospital chief executive officers, district health officers and clinic managers," Zuma said.

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Athol Trollip contended South Africa had shifted a step closer to the nationalisation of its mining industry.

He said the president's reference to the mineral assets of the country belonging to the state was of "massive concern".

"I think we're one step closer to the nationalisation of mines, and I'm very concerned about that.

"We have a state mining company, but his (Zuma's) referral to the mineral assets of this country belonging to the state is a massive concern, because we're not going to be able to create jobs in that industry if there is nationalisation," Trollip said.

Mixed message

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said he was "quite comfortable" with Zuma's address as it focused on the ruling party's main priorities.

"We are quite comfortable with the speech as it reflects the problems the ANC has been working on. The R9bn put aside for job creation is quite good."

He said the private sector needed to use the opportunity to access that funding.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said labour laws were a stumbling block to job creation.

It was a good thing for government to set aside over R10 billion for job creation, but it was a futile exercise because labour legislation was not conducive for job creation.

"The hostile labour laws made job creation impossible," he said.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said: "We really must create jobs and therefore we need some incentives for the private sector in agriculture but at the same time he announced labour laws... more restrictive labour laws... and I think that's a mixed message.

The R9bn job fund was good news, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said.

"Remember that the previous government has been reluctant to invest in job creation, to investing more money or intervening in the economy.

Decent work

"There seems to have been a paradigm shift under the presidency of Mr Jacob Zuma. He wants to invest more money into the economy and this is not a taboo," he said.

Feelings were mixed within organised labour.

Zuma's address had given South Africans "little hope" in the fight against crime.

"One of the burning issues of the country is crime and again as in the past this was a huge disappointment," said the union's deputy general secretary Dirk Hermann, whose uncle Frik Hermann was found dead at his farm near Alma in Limpopo on Tuesday.

Overall however, Hermann welcomed the speech, calling it "bakgat" - well balanced and comprehensive.

Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said the federation "broadly welcomed" the speech.

"Obviously need to find out who will receive money to make sure it is used for job creation," he said.

Federation of Unions of South Africa general secretary Dennis George welcomed Zuma's declaration of 2011 a year of job creation.

"President Zuma has emphasised that decent work is at the centre of our economic policy," he said.


  • Fundiswa - 2011-02-10 23:13

    Im very happy and excited abt the speech. It gives us hope especially youth. I hope that i will get the job finally as i have 5yrs not working. And i have responsibility its hurting really.

  • Thandi - 2011-02-11 00:13

    I'll be just sitting here and watching, we will see JZ.

  • HAB - 2011-02-11 04:25

    Government needs to "cool down" labour laws.Unions have to "cool down" their demands

  • les - 2011-02-11 04:39

    "At the same time, he signalled that he expected the business community to create most of the millions of new jobs the country needs." So when the labour laws make this impossible he can blame the private sector for the ANC's failures. The long-awaited NHI policy would be made public "soon" and government planned to improve health care this year by appointing "appropriate and qualified personnel to the right positions". All the wifes, lovers and relations of the freedom fighters will be "appropriate and qualified personnel to the right positions". Fail A year on, nothing will have improved and more millions will be plundered by the ANC.

  • Serf - 2011-02-11 05:43

    Dear Prez, Make it easier for me to employ and dismiss workers and I offer you my help. Also do not allow Cosatu to intimidate employees with ridiculous demands and we guarantee you success with your efforts to have more employed people in this country.

  • Hope1165 - 2011-02-11 06:14

    well Mr. President don't forget to whisper into the ears of the Advertisting Industry that those who lost their jobs 2 years ago will get a permanent job. Some have been placed but most freelance and it's so difficult. No work equals depression and no food on the table.

  • B.M - 2011-02-11 06:15

    "We have to work with business, labour and the community constituencies." No you don’t Zuma! Just protect us like you paid to do! All you have to do is Stop the ANC's love affair with China, and you will create millions of jobs... FACT As long as our borders are open to “their” cheap labour, cheap electricity and a “NO RED TAPE SOCIETY LIKE BEE AND UNIONS”, while you and the unions force us to pay “government set wages” we will never be able to win this war against unemployment… However, your ministers, and yourself are so corrupt, you guys just don’t care about anything but your private bank account... what did you say? You stuck between a rock and a hard place? No you not! Get your priorities right, and not just in election time! Regards business owner, Sebenza, Edenvale. RSA PS.. Zuma, don’t forget to send China a nice Valentine's card come Sunday.

  • Steadfast - 2011-02-11 06:18

    Job creation stratagy by Zuma will not work due to restrictive labour laws and unions. In fact thousands of gov/municipal jobs should be cut if these workers put in a full days work. This money could be better spent.

  • jannie - 2011-02-11 06:44

    I did not once hear pres. Zuma say jobs will be created, but job OPPORTUNITIES, yes. There is a huge difference, and that is how the ANC escape accountability, by playing around with words.

  • Werner - 2011-02-11 07:10

    I am a small business owner (construction), and I happen to be white. As we all know construction is one of the most labour intensive industries in SA. However because I am white the ANC in the form of local municipalities refuse to award us tenders. (to give an example We were asked to upgrade our local football stadium for the world cup 3 white builders and a whole lot of black builders were asked to quote. Most tenders came in at around R 14Mil with my company being the cheapest at R13.9Mil however they gave the job to a local black builder for R22mil!!) This man did not pay many of his subcontractors, and he did not pay his own labourers. What I find very ironic is that when it comes to financial year end and I have to pay tax I am a South African citizan, and I must do my duty for the benefit of our country, but when I want to tender I am a white previously advantaged person that does not deserve to be awarded tenders from the ANC.

  • Pete - 2011-02-11 07:18

    Love and agree with all the comments but want to add one more: the youth need realise they will quickly get work if they change their mindset from being passive beggars, to become self-employed entrepreneurs. It would be good if programmes were be aired on TV that highlighted how many of businesses throughout South Africa today were started by individuals with little to no money, who supported their idea/vision with much effort.

  • Shaun - 2011-02-11 07:19

    I loved the speech! It gives our citizens hope that there is a brighter future but it won't happen overnight. I'm creating over 500 jobs in my business so I wil welcome the tax benefits! Awesome stuff! Maybe I should be president . . . i can create those jobs not job opportunities!

  • wimpie - 2011-02-11 07:19

    Why should I in the private sector create jobs? Not because of the labour laws, not because of the unions, not because once its sucsessfull the ANCYL wants to nationalise it. What a pipe dream.

  • Pete - 2011-02-11 07:20

    I just wish to add to my previous comment: And those individuals increased their skill through determined self education.

  • Nixon@Fundiswa - 2011-02-11 07:20

    I hope you find a job, but I must say I don't think much has changed. Zuma has a habit of making BIG promises and no delivery, but good luck and I hope I'm wrong for you.

  • SB - 2011-02-11 07:28

    Time will tell...

  • Steve - 2011-02-11 07:32

    Stop thr Unions, change the labour laws, then maybe we as employers will look at job creation. As a manufacturer it's virtually impossible to try and get the union members to co-operate when we need them to work overtime as a result of increased orders etc. What we are now doing, is employing young white males and training them. Once fully trained, which will not take as long as their black counterparts, we will work on a plan to get rid of the union members. Lovely "job creation", hey

  • Sigh - 2011-02-11 07:38

    The crime in our country stems from unemployment. I say sort out the unemployment issues and it will be a step towards reducing crime in this country.

  • Sonnica - 2011-02-11 07:45

    I fail to see how, with all the corruption in this country, they can still give tax breaks. Secondly, I am of the opinion that JZ is playing with words because I doubt anything will come from the proposed 'job creation'. Seeing is believing. Sorry.

  • Douglas - 2011-02-11 07:45

    SMME's have the most potential to create jobs - labour legislation prevents this from happening - so speech is all smoke and mirrors and not really helping the unemployed and entrepreneur to create jobs

  • wins - 2011-02-11 07:47

    Having my own business and being white times are tough. With rediculous labour laws I prefer to keep the company small and obtain contracts which I can basically manage with the minimum resources. To create job oppertunities do away with BEE and labour laws and the overcroaded unproductive highly overpaid lazy government employees. And o yes, stop corruption and listen to intellegent people. Why shelf such a lot of work and now blame it on the world cup. This was forseen and government was warned about their white elephants / statues.

  • patrice - 2011-02-11 07:47

    THe big stumbling block is in the difference between jobs and work. As the private sector we can create jobs, but we have huge difficulty in making the encumbents work once they have the job. A job demands being nattily dressed and sitting on your bum for the 8 hr working day and getting a salary at the end of the month, ne' ? And of course we cannot fire them. Revolutionary politics and the unions have removed the "work in a job" ethic - until that changes we can expect replays of the big Zeds speech for many years to come.

  • THASMAN - 2011-02-11 08:04

    Corruption is the root of lack of job creation, put more efforts on fight against corruption, then we can trust and believe on what you tell us. implement the promises to show responsibility.

  • Disgruntled - 2011-02-11 08:08

    The state of nation speech gives me no hope it is only "Pie in the Sky"My financial situation woul a lot better if my tax will not enrich POLTICIANS bank accounts an their many wives and lovers an children living in the lap of luxury.I have submitted a letter to Zuma requested assistance in paying my daughter's university fees as experiencing unemployment .My only luck was to be referred to dept of education which already declined to offer my daughter a bursary an applied their measures in offering to EE.So I can only continue living in hope that my tax money of almost R5000 a month would be put to better use.

  • desmond - 2011-02-11 08:12

    Here we go again. I'll put money on it that by the time the next municipal elections come around 500 000 jobs will be lost and the country will be screwed. That's closer to the truth than the drivel Zuma spews out.

  • Navarac - 2011-02-11 08:13

    @Fundiswa Please don't hold your breath. My suggestion: Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Make an effort to remedy your shortcomings. Decide whether other people would be willing to pay you for your ability to do what they are incapable of doing. (Note: Usually a particularly unpopular task!) Advertise your availability to do the job and emphasize that your services are inexpensive. After a couple of years all that hard work will start to pay dividends. Best wishes.

  • Pleb - 2011-02-11 08:33

    We have heard it all before - an occasion to view the fugly deadbeats all in one place at one time - what a sorry lot

  • peter - 2011-02-11 08:34

    Loosen up labour laws. Don't ban labour brokers who employ new entrants to labour market. Create employmnet in rural areas by giving title deeds to the incumbents existing on the land but not producing anything. Let them self employ. Create capital for them to use and produce food for those in town. You don't need a degree to work the land. Give them dignity.

  • N.B. - 2011-02-11 08:35

    It is great to see JZ making 2011 the year of job creation. My concern is, a plan is now in place, how successful will the execution be and is this model sustainable? Guess we have to wait and see....

  • gcr - 2011-02-11 08:37

    Same old rhetoric all over again. It has taken a year to implement a literacy evaluation of kids which was announced in last years state of the nation speech. So on the same basis it will take a year to implement job opportunities. We don't need opportunities we need jobs, with only 8% of matriculants getting jobs annually we are creating a massive employment problem. Revise the labour laws, give small businesses more freedom on salary awards - pay these unskilled people what they are really worth and lets get on and build this country into a power house. So long as we have arrogant trade unions this country will remain a nothing nation

  • GMecon - 2011-02-11 09:00

    R9bn over 3 years = R3bn/a R3bn/a = R30000 for 100000, excluding inflationary effects which will drive down the real value of that amount over the period of implementation. It's something, but it's a LONG way from 5 million jobs and R30000/a isn't exactly generous, although clearly we can't be worried about being generous at this stage. The vote-mongering must stop if are expected to believe in the government's plans. Also, the "strategic minerals" line did concern me.

  • Mikaeel - 2011-02-11 09:06

    How can anyone be happy about that speech. The ruling party has failed its people over and over again. If you not working for 5 years does not mean that after this speech you will get a job. Please stop being fooled. Nothing has happened. Nothing will ever happen. Its all about them not you, The People.

  • Major - 2011-02-11 09:07

    And he still insists we can make these jobs in manufacturing? Manufacturing what? We have no competitve edge over any of our developing counterparts! Unskilled, expensive, extremely powerful labour? Please! Even British financial services companies that outsourced here are packing for India. Rather spend the 9 billion on giving technical skills to especially those under 35, create first an independent economy that promotes increasing local supply and demand.

  • Elaine - 2011-02-11 09:29

    It is so distressing to hear of all the "create jobs" etc rubbish whilst at the very time Pres Zuma is talking about creating jobs, he is in the process of having the Port Shepstone Railway closed down. How do you create jobs by retrenching people??? Wake up President Zuma, people are being retrenched every single day and the departments run by the government (Port Shepstone Railway) which is the ONLY link left in the slowly dying community, the government is busy closing down and retrenching more people????? The fact that they want to close down this railway is 100% because of the incompetent leaders/managers put in charge by the ANC run government. They cannot make a profit if their lives depended on it. Mismanagement, corruption and laziness. The bosses should be fired and competent people should be put in charge that are capable of turning this railway and turning it into a viable profitable organisation and retaining and creating jobs instead of messing it up and closing it down and causing more job losses.

  • Paulus - 2011-02-11 09:36

    Blah, blah, blah, blah (more drivel, more blaming Apartheid, more need more time, blah, blah, blah. 100 years from now and we will still blame apartheid. The government misruns the companies under it and retrenches millions but creates a 100 jobs yipppeeee. Get back to reality, stop mismanaging the government funds on pomp & ceremony & parties and use those funds to create jobs and open businesses to CREAT jobs and houses etc. The money wasted by the government on rubbish is ludicrous .... millions could have jobs if corruption and waste is stopped. Will that happen ... no I don't think so. As a black man I am disgusted ... I am leaving too now ... cannot take it any longer. Byeeeee South Africa

  • amabok - 2011-02-11 09:46

    5m jobs? Impossible. Economy is not big enough, not competitive enough, not productive enough. The population should be downsized - cut in half : HIV will take care of 25%, China Policy of 1 child per family combined with natural attrition/death will take care of the other 25%. Voila - unemployment reduced!

  • victor1985 - 2011-02-11 09:53

    @Shaun.We need more south africans like yourself boet.U should be really proud of urself.Vote shaun for president!!!!

  • ZAR - 2011-02-11 10:17

    I think that AMABOK's comments on HIV (impact on population and unemployment) Is really insincere and inhumane. Yes, it might be reality but show some compassion.

  • Sky - 2011-02-11 10:25

    Quick question....... How many companies will close down with the additional 66c to R2 a km tax in JHB? How many jobs will be lost? How can we create new businesses........our leaders have done alot of good ---be honest---"We could be in war like Egypt"...

  • Larry - 2011-02-11 10:28

    An embarrassing spectacle, whil the worlds Mining and finance people are in town. God Help us (without an ANC card)

  • mike - 2011-02-11 10:29

    @serf. You hit the nail on the head. But will they listen. It is for this exact reason I wil try to have the least amount of employees. You cannot have the tail wagging the dog.

  • Investor - 2011-02-11 10:30

    Talk is cheap, money buys the whisky. ANC have more chance of getting BAFANNA to win the world cup, than they do of creating jobs and growth, as they do not apply economic common sense, that is applied by the other BRIC countries. Why dont they learn from their BRIC counterparts..... ? - who by the way would never consider chasing away investment by discussing nationalisation, that is why BRIC countries are growing and creating jobs and SA is losing out !

  • Nasdaq7 - 2011-02-11 10:31

    The economy is $354bn = R2478bn in size in 2010. Zuma announces increased spending and investment of R20bn. What will the effect be in 2012? A 0.01% boost to the! And the title reads Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! HAHA! We need a business tax cut of 1% at least to really help the economy. Do people even realise R20bn is not much? The president of Tunisia recently fled his tiny country with twice that amount: R40bn ( $5bn ). It is peanuts today! Not even 1% of our economy. Didn't the ANC have infrastructure spending plans of $100bn ... what about those plans? They need to go ahead ... or give business or consumers a 3% tax cut. That will create jobs definitely. Why is the ANC so afraid of tax cuts? You cut them when times are bad and increase them when times are good is not rocket science you know.

  • LOL - 2011-02-11 11:16

    Did he's iPad tell him this LOL

  • Zion Pay - 2011-02-11 12:54

    In the last state of the nation speech 5million jobs were promised (correction on 5million). How many have we seen? The timing was perfect because promises of jobs and huge mind-boggling figures attract voters to the next election

  • William - 2011-02-11 12:56

    @ Fundiswa. I'm sorry about your situation. however, I think your hope might be misplaced. Remember he promised 500k jobs six months ago and nothing came from that... I hope you find a job... P.s. vote DA

  • Errol - 2011-02-11 13:31

    Fundiswa, for your and many others sakes, I hope that jobs are created. I do however not see how this is possible in the current climate of crime, corruption, BEE etc in our country. I certainly hope that I am proved wrong; only time will tell.

  • JERHONE - 2011-02-11 18:22


  • gordon mayizela miya - 2011-02-11 22:46

    u can build so many jails and arrest so many people as a way 2 eradicate is how u control crime(it's all economic imbalances).u give people hope by empowering them thru job/skill training/teaching. it's a different world we live in and changing everyday.not everybody is gonna b MBA this and that.just because everybody registers the 1st year of school doesnt guarantee graduation.we have to teach people not to belittle apprenticeship i.e electrician,mechanics,farmers, bricklayers etc. we need specialists, u have to know what u r capable of doing skills-wise. the more jobs created thru these vocations the more the quality of life improves,because of a wider tax base,because most people r employed/employers.when u live for something worthwhile u respect life and that of ur fellow man/woman. it has never been easy ,would never b easy but it takes an effort/hardwork. nobody is gonna pay u what u r actually worth but yourself.

  • cvdm - 2011-02-13 18:06

    I'm a white male, paying my taxes and if the government did use at well, I have paid for 10 Free Houses, funded transformation of the local government, traffic & metro cops, police, admin & others, no white faces to be seen and still, maily government employees are going on strike resulting in the change of Labour & Employment conditions for the others? Lets become a 2 Party State- VOTE DA and give them a run for "our" money! P/s What is the retirement age of a youth leader, most likely 30 years, makes me think about any other "official" term, not one term, not two terms it is more likely going to be at least 30 years (Africa Time) or more, because we are altready in HEAVEN? At least ONE of US!

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