Is ANC’s big jobs promise feasible?

2014-01-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The ANC wants to create five million job opportunities in South Africa over the next five years.

The party set this goal in its manifesto for the upcoming national elections in Nelspruit on Saturday.

President Jacob Zuma yesterday told a media conference that this goal will be reached with the government’s national development plan.

The plan requires that the number of jobless in South Africa must drop from the about 25% currently to 14% in 2020 and six percent by 2030, Zuma said.

Zuma said to achieve this goal, an additional 11 million jobs will be needed in the long term.

He said on top of this, the GDP needed to grow by an annual average of 5,4%.

South Africa’s economy is meanwhile still struggling to recover from the 2008 recession, and is growing at less than three percent a year.

Government statistics put the number of jobs created over the past 20 years at about 2,5 million.

DA spokesperson Mmusi Maimane yesterday criticised the promises made by the ANC in its election manifesto. “Under Zuma things are getting worse. Job opportunities are getting less. Work is being destroyed, not created. The only people who are benefiting are people who are close to the president himself. “

Maimane said the fact was that since Zuma had became president in 2009, more than 1,4 million people had lost their jobs and promises of new jobs on a mass scale will come to nought.

The government is, however, busy with large-scale constructions projects, including the new coal-fired power stations of Medupi in Limpopo and Kusile in Mpumalanga. These two projects can create about 40 000 jobs.

Other government institutions like Transnet are also busy with large projects that could create jobs.

The ANC said this weekend that inequality, poverty and joblessness are its main challenges.

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