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Job creation debate: Cronin vs Leon

2009-07-30 08:10

Die Burger is currently running a series called Big Ideas in which keen minds debate the important issues of our time.

Jeremy Cronin, the deputy minister of transport, and Tony Leon, former DA-leader, tackle the question of how to create jobs from opposing viewpoints.

Jeremy Cronin – deputy minister of transport:

Our unemployment crisis lies at the heart of virtually every other challenge we face – poverty, inequality, youth alienation, dysfunctional communities.

For the last 15 years, the dominant assumption has been that economic growth is the key to creating jobs. With growth, it was said (notably by government’s 1996 GEAR macro-economic programme), a million new jobs would be created in five years.  The seeming obviousness of this assumption swayed public opinion.

But, in real life, something paradoxical happened. From 1996 growth was, indeed, restored to an economy in decline for most of the final apartheid period. At first, post-apartheid growth averaged a modest 3%, but with a global commodity boom our economy began to grow at around 5%. That commodity boom has ended. We are back in the doldrums of negative growth and mass retrenchments. .

But even during the decade of positive growth, our job creation record was poor. In the first years after 1996 there was actually a net loss of one million formal sector jobs. By the early 2000s, unemployment had passed the 40% mark. In the latter years of growth there was some net job creation. By 2006 we were able to return unemployment to its 1994 levels (around 25%). Why, with a decade growth and an unprecedented global commodity boom, did we perform so poorly with jobs?

The answer, in brief, is we focused too much on growth without asking what KIND of growth. South Africa’s post-1994 growth path simply defaulted back into its old century-long habits. It was excessively primary commodity export-dependent; excessively import-dependent for luxury goods and machinery; it was capital-, not labour-intensive; and it had extremely high-levels of concentration in the mining, financial, agro-processing, retail and energy sectors. These levels of concentration suffocated labour intensive family farms and light manufacturing.

To create jobs we must transform the character of our growth path. But how? The current activism of our Competitions Commission is critical. A recent academic study found, for instance, that SASOL, the near monopoly supplier of PVC to our domestic market, was charging local plastic goods manufacturers a 40% premium.

We are often told it is the private not public sector that creates jobs. “The state is not an employment agency”.  But the state and parastatal sectors have a very central role to play in job creation.

First, the public sector is (needs to be) a major employer in its own right. We are now belatedly playing employment and training catch-up in key areas like education, health-care, municipal services and policing. Many current challenges in these sectors have been caused by a neo-liberal denigration of public sector work and mid-1990s “right-” (i.e. “down-”) sizing exercises.

It is not just as a direct employer that the public sector has a major employment role. Take our R787-billion state-led infrastructure programme. Planned before the global crisis, it has now become our major counter-cyclical stimulus package. Even in conditions of global recession, it has helped sustain construction sector employment growth.

But we could be doing better. For the moment, we have been less successful in ensuring a dynamic connection between infrastructure spending and stimulation of local manufacturing. Far too many inputs are being imported – Gautrain coaches, BRT buses, and even some very basic nuts and bolts. Driving a much more aggressive industrial policy is a third dimension of the state’s job creation responsibilities.

I have stressed the key strategic role of the public sector in job creation, but, of course, the state will not succeed without the participation, creativity and democratic engagement of all sectors of our society. 15 years into democracy, together we can (and must) do much better.

Tony Leon – former DA-leader:

The unemployment crisis in South Africa is deep and profound. Even before our economy moved into recession, more than eight million people within the expanded definition of unemployment were without jobs. Most were young and black and under-educated and unskilled, and they account for an alarming 40% of the potential workforce.

When the National Treasury engaged the Harvard Center for International Development to advise government, they found that if job-creation in South Africa had simply attained the levels achieved in countries  such as Thailand, Brazil and Mexico, employment here would have been 50% higher.

We now face a further massacre on the jobs front: 170 000 workers lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2009, a figure which economists reckon could balloon to nearly 400 000 by the year end.

The government has made the creation of “decent work” the centrepiece of its strategy to halve unemployment by 2015, and sees the state as the chief driver of this ambitious target. However, shortly after his final budget speech to Parliament, Trevor Manuel sounded a necessary warning: “In a time of crisis, all jobs are hard to come by, and the more adjectives you add the harder they will be.”

Since the introduction of the Labour Relations Act in 1995 we have created rigidities and obstacles in the path of both employers and job-seekers. The fact that our unemployment levels are at heights experienced in the United States at the time of the Great Depression is proof enough . Further evidence of the unsuitability of our current legislative framework was unveiled by the World Bank which placed our rigidities in the labour market near the bottom of the global survey, with South Africa ranking 123rd out of the 134 countries surveyed.

The first response to this crisis should be to think “outside the box.” The recently unveiled “5 Million Jobs initiative” of the Centre for Development and Enterprise/Business Leadership SA is a good place to start. They realize it is futile to demand of COSATU and government a wholesale rewriting of our labour laws, although that would be a first prize, but instead suggest that first-time job-seekers be exempted from some of the more onerous provisions of the legislation. Next, they propose they we experiment with different models in different areas, targeting rural, high unemployment zones to begin with.

Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel  made an important admission recently when he conceded that the government’s own initiative for 4 million new jobs would “not exclude the creation of temporary, low paid jobs in the short term.” This seems to be at variance with the insistence by COSATU, for example, that labour brokers, whom the Minister of Labour has labelled as “human traffickers”, be banned outright. Yet it is precisely this informal, casualised sector, and the brokers themselves, who have been the mainspring of much of the creation of work in recent times. They are the principal entry-point into the labour market for unemployed African youth-and contract and part-time employment has been created for 3,5 million job-seekers since 2000, according to Adcorp, South Africa’s largest  private employment agency.

Professor Ricardo Hausmann of the Harvard Group spelt out the position to our government very clearly: “You have to create jobs for the workers you have, not the workers you wished you had.”

Our country’s  unskilled and unemployed young millions are not just competing against each other, they are competing against the world. An unskilled worker in South Africa averages a salary approximately 300% more than his or her Chinese counterpart . That is one of the reasons that South Africa’s manufacturing sector has fallen off a cliff. It is uncompetitive, and our labour is too expensive. We need, first off to open the factory gates to those who want to work, at prices which are affordable to those who wish to engage them.

Thereafter, we can upscale and up skill the workforce. There is, in my mind, something perverse in government doling out taxpayers’ money to 13 million welfare recipient who average no more than R750 each month, but refusing to countenance, or subsidise, entry level wages at approximately the same level.

We must, decisively, break the cycle of unemployment and create hope on the jobs’ front.

Cronin responds to Leon:

Yes, unemployment is THE critical challenge. But, Tony, you assume our economy, as presently structured, has an insatiable appetite for waged labour – and the appetite is only blunted by a single factor: the cost of labour.

You must be wearing “oogklappies”.

Drop entry level wages? Workers won’t be fooled by that. They’ve learnt from recent mass casualisation that labour market liberalisation erodes overall wage-levels and job security, without spurring any major employment creation.

The relative cost of South African (compared to, say, Chinese) labour is affected by many factors beyond labour market regulation – our food and public transport costs, for instance.

Your narrow labour market fixation also obscures many other things. The poor don’t survive as market-place individuals. Social grants and meagre wages are typically not alternative choices, but part of a household’s shared pool of survival strategies.

Remove the “oogklappies”, Tony. Follow your own advice – think out of the box.

Leon responds to Cronin:

If the state could create jobs, then South Africa would have zero unemployment, not the one-quarter of the potential workforce without work, or much hope of its attainment. The truth is that the private sector is the mainspring of job creation-and the obstacles which we place in the path of offering competitive work at affordable wages is the key to resolving unemployment.

But the state does have a big role: it needs to critically examine the legislation and practices which inhibit job creation. Mining and agriculture would be two good places to start. Jeremy claims that the state pursued the wrong growth strategy. I agree. If you look at the effect labour legislation had on job-destruction in agriculture, and the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act had on disinvestment and job-losses in mining during the boom years, it is clear that the ANC government never placed job creation at the heart of it programme. Ideology first, job-creation somewhere at the back of the queue has been the reality of the past fifteen years.

To create jobs, there will have to be a mind-shift on this front as well, particularly since both the state-with a huge fiscal deficit-and the private sector-with record bankruptcies- have much less room for maneuver  and expansion.

  • Next week Cronin and Leon will tackle the issue of service delivery protests. The Afrikaans translation will appear in Die Burger on Wednesday August 5th, while the English original will be available on News24 from Thursday August 6th.

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Comments
  • TL - 2009-07-30 08:58

    Cronin knows nothing about the unemplyment rate in SA, before 1994, the unemploymnet rate was far lesser than it is now, and yes it was informal but it was something that people could actually call work. When the ANC took over, they re-structured the labour system and offered important contracts/ work/tenders to "brothers & sisters" who are only looking to cut costs by retrenching workers.

  • KOBUS - 2009-07-30 09:05

    "Drop entry level wages? Workers won't be fooled by that" Really, Mr. Cronin? Maybe your union members won't be "fooled" by that, but there are millions of unemployed people would gladly jump at the chance, but are blocked at every juncture by people who claim to represent them, but actually don't. If the shoe fits, please wear it...

  • Rean Lubbe - 2009-07-30 09:22

    Having been there myself, I can without question say that Tony doesn't know his belly from his butt when it comes to labour brokering. They do own their employees. The primary difference between true employees and broker-contracters, is they have zero protection under labour law, because technically they aren't employed. Saying these are big job creator is laughable. The need for labour would not have magically disappeared with cement carying itself if labour brokers didn't exist, the job would simply be done by a fully emplloyed labourer.

  • Winn - 2009-07-30 09:26

    Unemployment problems - what unemployment problems?

  • Cr1t - 2009-07-30 10:42

    I think Tony Leon is wrong, we don't need more low price un skilled work. That wount solve our problems, what we need to do is go back and get the people who fell thru the education gap, and get them skilled up so that we can move into more advanced work force. There are lots of countries that do the unskiled low wage work force a lot better than we could ever do so leave it to them.

  • ivan - 2009-07-30 11:01

    2 reasons y i retreched 50% of my staff: economic downturn and labour laws,when there economic upturn wont be taking on more staff too many headaches involved

  • tedious - 2009-07-30 11:22

    @TL: That opinion says more about YOU and where YOU are coming from than it does about Cronin.

    Both these gents know little about 'job creation' because neither has done anything to help.

    Jobs will only be created if SA creates an environment in which entrepreneurship is aggressively encouraged. Unions, exhorbitant minimum wage demands and annual wage strikes all contribute to putting off would be investors.

  • Bryan - 2009-07-30 11:23

    Sadly Cronin, it is you that should remove the blinkers. The bottom line is that we need to become competitive in the global market. We need to become net exporters of labour intensive goods and maintain wealth within our own borders. The ANC tries very hard to convince the masses that it is the widening gap between rich and poor that has resulted in their misfortune. How true this is when we consider that the folks that are getting richer, work for the government that claims to represent them!!

  • tseliso - 2009-07-30 11:42

    Lowly paid unskilled labour is as close to slavery as you can get. The market must stop wishing and hoping that unskilled labour will always be around to accept a market related low wage, the market must be a citizen of the country as well and realize that this is not the future.

  • Sello - 2009-07-30 11:56

    Both these people are surprisingly clueless about possibilities of job creation. They go on about labour this and labour that. Jobs will only be created by an educations system that will train young people's minds into creativity, production, technological inventions, science and manufacturing, so that young people will use this interest and creativity to go into small entrepreneurship. With government and private sector's intensive support and monitoring, these creative entrepreneurs can develop/produce consumable products that can increase our export market and open jobs for locals. i dont see how any country can create jobs and not involve its younger generations and their education system.

  • Unemployed - 2009-07-30 12:44

    This is true neither are committed to job creation. I was employed on 1 of the larger projects that are currently going on. After 13 months of being on contract basis I was told that there is no position for me. All these large projects going on do not offer job stability as one goes to work daily not knowing if you will have a job the next day. I went back to study and still no job opportunities. All the jobs on the project were given to ANC family and friends. Bussiness needs to be honest and stop lying about their bottom lines, create social jobs. Mr leon if only you knew what the work place is really about you would cringe and tighten our labour laws more. This sitting in an ivory tower does not help. Interview people in the workplace and find out what they expierience, gender discrimination, sexual haarasment on a daily basis, this is just the start. I am strong thank God that I did not crash. I will not leave RSA as this is my home forever, I will succeed eventaully and once again contribute as a citizen. For now I will keep looking as I have done for the past 3 years. Dissapointed in our systems.

  • Andre - 2009-07-30 13:05

    Ask Zuma - he promised 500 000 jobs by year end. As an employer I can state that progressive labour laws do not fit the profile of unproductive labour. I will rather do the menial job myself than appoint a person to do it. The consequence of error with regards to cost is prohibitive - so go figure both of you. Idiots

  • Educated - 2009-07-30 13:42

    Sello - you are spot on. The basics for being able to perform a job must be in place before you can do the job. The education system as been at the back of this queue Tony mentions for too long as well.

  • Lindile Xhamfu - 2009-07-30 14:02

    Hi there,
    I think these guys are not the right people to be questioned about job creation, please bring some who is more powerful who will make use of our comment to reduce unemployment in this country, this is just waste of our valuable time bring in or ask Trevor Manuel and let us give him some ideas on creatinga sustainable jobs not these one year jobs...

  • GG - 2009-07-30 14:32

    Here's a thought. I travel Asia and one comonality is that every member of a particular household works to contribute towards the functioning of that household. They all earn far less than workers here, but are happy to work together to make the household work. Just because people are paid less does not mean starvation if more in the family could be employed. I tilt more on the side of Leon and believe that the more people working, the better. Leave the minimum wages, let households as a collective look after themselves and encourage entrepreneurship. Improving eduction is unfortunately only a long-term solution. In the mean time, labour needs to be tackled head on. As an employer of some 100 people 12 years ago, I now employ 20 and why????????? because I can't afford to do it any other way and the headaches that come with a large work force, CCMA, unions are too much to handle.....that is the reality

  • Ouklip - 2009-07-30 19:59

    I see dark times with Cronin in charge. The ANC needs real labour people not communists like Cronin and my favourite , Patrick Craven. During the final years of apartheid the ANC convinced the world about sanctions and that almost destroyed the SA economy. It took more than 5 years to regain early 80's job situation. But with Kadar Asmal's failed interference in education, out of control labour cost and behaviour because of labour laws, The Government and Escom's failure with power supply, crumbling infrastructure, the global down turn destruction of professional farms and corruption in the work place the economy is getting smaller. All we need is a major drought and we on a sliding slope with a Rand as volatile as the Zim Dollar. Anton Rupert in the middle 60’s said the emphasis should be on 1 man 1 job and not 1 man 1 vote. Democracy is at risk with the growing unemployment and Government can not create jobs without the private sector.

  • Tom - 2009-07-30 21:12

    It's only education which will fix our unemployment problems in the long run.

    In the short run, Leon's statistic on Chinese comparative wages should not be overlooked.

    Fact is, having no skills and barely any education make your labour so worthless that you're lucky to get anything at all. Many of our own unemployed have realised this and have decided simply to give up and live in alcoholic stupor on government grants till they drop dead.

    Government's response should be Victorian: put them in workhouses. Pay them in kind: food and board. Educate their children. Weather this storm until the next generation emerges. If we are ever to compete globally, some tough love will be required now.

  • Doug - 2009-07-31 02:37

    Education, derelgulation and a mindset geared to making employment of people a benefit to a business.

    Once you create a shortage of labour you can start talking about improving conditions. Until then: The state must provide a social safety net.

    It is no more complicated than that.

  • michael - 2009-07-31 08:32

    What is often forgotten in this debate is that there are some other influencing factors in the unemployed figures:1. There are some who are simply unemployable. 2. Some who, quite simply, don't want to be employed 3. Some who, when employed, treat their jobs with such disrepect that they render themselves unemployable etc.
    This is not a perfect world. Imagining that we can overcome poverty is like chasing rainbows. There will ALWAYS be poor people.Let's help those who want to be helped. The current situation we see on the streets of our country are a DIRECTY result of ideologies espoused by Jeremy Cronin.

  • Reality is best - 2009-07-31 09:17

    The offshore oil and gas industry is a world industry and many people ask me how do you get in to the industry if you have no offshore experience . I tell them to accept a slave wage to get in and build up a CV with offshore experience I asked a Construction manager of a multi billion dollar project what he looks for when he looks at CV and he said firstly experience and then qualifications.To get well paid jobs you must have experience and to get that you must enter the job market and to enter the job market you must offer the employer the cost incentive to employ you above an experienced worker. This is life !!!

  • Khuzane - 2009-07-31 11:16

    Up untili people think that they are the only ones who deserve better life than the others we will continue to have this problem of joblessness. This age we are in now need people who do not think of exploiting otheres labour for them to live luxurious life , which they will claim they worked hard for it , though they know well that they have impoverished others who have the same dream like them of a better life.Continue to exploit and advocate for exploitation of other peoples labour, then you must be ready and prepared for unsafe communities . KJ

  • Point Blank - 2009-07-31 14:47

    We have millions of educated people sitting around doing nothing because, well, there is simply no work. There are no opportunities for these young educated black and white youths, those fortunate enough can go overseas to work thereby robbing SA of skills and denying the opportunities that come with those skills. They both have it wrong, all I see is two old men arguing about who was right and his IS wrong.

  • pete - 2009-07-31 14:55

    Tony is acting as if the current worldwide financial crisis never happenend. Free market capitalism has been discredited. Including the low wage, little regulation of labour market. Creating jobs are crucial. I don't see any new ideas here. Good discussion though.

  • yvonne - 2009-07-31 15:41

    Having lived in Thailand for a number of years, I think the government can take a page from the book of The King of Thailand.Stop the influx into the Cities where there are NO JOBS NO HOUSES etc.. cannot believe these people that just arrive put up a shack and demand a house!They have houses and land where they cam from. Albeit a thatched rondavel type house but it is better than a waterlogged shack every winter.Create jobs in the rural areas. The King of Thailand stopped the opium growing massively, he stopped rural people pouring into the cities, he created the Kings Projects, handcrafts, amazing vegetable fuit and flower growing in the rural areas. He has got the people back to making handcrafts and silk etc. Start mohair goat farming in the rural areas, assist the people with coops and with guidance from knowledgable qualified people, start weaving mohair, rugs blankets etc and export. Start milk goat farming, create a cheese factory and export to middle east etc, start planting chillies,export to China- stop buying luxury cars,stop ridiculous lavish parties, stop FUNDING USELESS SAA and similar parastatals,stop the houses allowances, high salaries and pilfering by Government, start growing and developing the kilometres of land you drive past in the Ciskei/Transkei/Kwa Zuly etc.These people canot farm , they have to be taught and guided-no good giving them a piece of land, they will just stuff it up.and go and sit in the sun. They have to sign contracts, have Managers who are resposible and NOT CORRUPT, report for duty on time and WORK NOT STAND AROUND LAUGHING AND TALKING. I am astounded when visiting Government departments to stand in the que and watch these workers. They would NOT LAST IN THAILAND for a week.
    Are these people employed by Govt./Municipalities BORN LETHARGIC or what?
    Most of these people are in jobs they are JUST NOT CAPABLE of doing. QEmploy the right people for the job. Rural people are certainly not trained/skilled for Cities.BUT
    they can be MUCH MUCH BETTER off at their places or origin if the Government Ministers stop having lunches endless meetings,mind boggling spending on themselves with OUR TAX MONey, USELESS PROMISES and predictions and get off their BUTTS and start doing what the TAXPAYERS are paying them for.Off course we all know that MANY of them are also TOTALLY unsuitable/incapable for the positions they hold- results the mess we are getting deeper and deeper into every day.

  • Douglas Sithole - 2009-07-31 15:45

    Luck of skills is one of the problems that perpetuate the high level of unemployment. While get skills one need to pay fortunes in universities, or other high learning institutions. The government should address the issue of high fees at schools or universities. Though free education might lot an ideal but something similar with strong administration can help. In Governmental jobs half of these who are employed there are skilled on the field of their employment but because of deployment or political association, people spent years doing nothing while earning lots of money. Such money should be used to educate these who are hungry of knowledge; this improves our level of skills, economy and lower rate of unemployment. We can not keep on blaming apartheid, or be academically about problem and it does not need one to have PHD to solve the problem just common sense if applied can solve the problem.

  • Doorboot - 2009-07-31 16:21

    Somehow I do not see anyone mention productivity. This is a greater differentiator between us and countries like China. Their productivity is apreciably higher than ours. In other words those that do have jobs get to much money for to little work. BTW I do not agree that under Apartheid it was better, a slave wage is hardly better than a grant.

  • Bruce - 2009-07-31 19:09

    Mr. Cronins economic "ideas" are the same ones that were used in Cuba, East Germany, China and Russia to name a few. Spot the common thread? None of these economies worked. The communist party and their fellow-travellers are using the recession (a cyclical trend), as an opening door to try and force their unworkable polocies onto government. Mr. cronin is an idealogue, who will never be swayed by common sense or facts. Pray to God he fails in his attempt to subvert our economy- and make everyone poor (like the countries above) except politicians like himself.

  • Mike - 2009-07-31 20:38

    If labour is not a binding constraint, as Cronin claims, why then is there such a demand for labour brokers? Its economic 101. Cronin has failed to address Leon’s central point.

  • John R - 2009-07-31 23:58

    We are limited by minimum wages which is a step in the right direction to some form of equality. Now how about a little protection against the Chinese, India, Turkey and Brazil who flood our markets with goods we cannot compete against because they have notorious human right violations. South Africa's minimum wage is set at about US$1.5 per hour while these countries are less than US$1.5 per day for sometimes up to 10 to 14hr a day. This is an insult to our so called blasphemous democracy. Increase duties on imports that we can produce locally and drop raw material prices for local content. Can that be so difficult to figure out! We have 180000 taxis that over a 10 year replacement cycle equates to 18000 new vehicles a year. Produce them locally and create a minimum of 2000 permanent jobs.

  • Tiresias - 2009-08-01 11:10

    What jobs have these two gentlemen created? Their arguments are nice for a top-down, command-type solution. What we really need is for Government to come to all small and medium businesses and ask: "What would make you employ more workers?" And then implement these requests.
    These two gentlemen argue a nice top-down argument. If we had an isolated command-type economy that would work.

    What needs to be done is for Government to ask all actual and potential small and medium employers what it would take for them to employ more workers, on a more permanent basis. And tehn create the legal framework within whit=ch they could do so.

    It has become enormously difficult to qualify as an artissan. Make it more simple. It has become almost impossible, for certain race groups, to manage workers effectively. Buiuld in protection to managers. By the way, get rid of all racist practises in the economy, both anti- and pro-black. Small businesses are now burdened by an intolerable load of burocratic requirements. Make this more simple. Streamline tax and regulation requirements. Make it possible to set up a business in one day. And, if it does not work, to close it in one day. That would be a start.

  • Kragenhai - 2009-08-01 11:24

    Please remember that both these people are politicians. People who want to be incharge, who want to regulate everything. There is only one real way of fighting poverty, of giving people fair work to do for a fair reward and that is a free market system were everyone can sell whatever he has, be it tomatoes or the ability to sweep a street, to the highest bidder, where and whenever he wants to.
    Make the labour market free, make all markets free. This is suposed to be a free country.
    Scrap all labour laws.
    I know of over 100 small businesses employing four or five people who eventually got rid of all their inefficient employees through letters, labour hearings, court actions and that rediculous thing of severance pay. These businesses are now run and operated by their owners and are still being successful but there are now also 500 odd incomes not being spent.
    Sure, they all want jobs, but nobody wants to work!

  • ant - 2009-08-01 13:51

    I am a small business owner. When I started my business grew to a point where I needed help to grow the business. After much recruiting I employed 2 extra staff members to help me cope. My expertise was in doing the work, there expertise, it seemed, was knowing the labour laws. The quality of work they produced was to say the least, pathetic. I tried motivation, incentives and extra training to help make them more productive and motivated. In the end I landed up doing there work as well.I then had to make use of a labour consultant to help get rid of them. It cost me more money to employ people than what it was worth, so now I just do what I can and I am happy with that. If the labour laws were easier for me to fire someone when they didn't perform, I would have had more control on performance and probably would have grown the business.

  • GJB - 2009-08-02 01:20

    Wow! I hear what both these gentlemen say. However, I hear or see nothing about BEE. RSA has succeeded with it's BEE and all those in the knowing have either been retrenched or have left RSA. Stop fooling around

  • david - 2009-08-02 08:01

    The arrogant SA Worker deserves to be humbled thorough growing poverty and unemployment while they vote for a government that enforces AA and BEE. The costs of these follies are accumulating steadily.

  • GJB - 2009-08-02 11:36

    Further to my comment from yesterday. The two gentlemen are touching the subject, but not pointing out the truth. BEE got rid of those who can and did create jobs in various industries. They are now gone, retrenched or left the country. Ivan retrenched 50% of his staff because nobody is offering him business as in the past. Granted, the current resession also plays a part, but RSA could have been in a better position.

  • Ngoako - 2009-08-02 12:45

    Tony leon must refuse to believe that labour broker are effectively involved in job creation because they are nothing but middle men who does nothing but benefit more money at the expense of the poor. COSATU is correct to demand that brokers be dealt with because the only thing brokers master is the exploitation of workers.

    in fact the truth about the brokers is that they employee very few workers for their own use.

    Anyway Tony will be forgiven for his thinking because he comes from the advantaged white minority elite background produced by the system of apartheid capitalism.

  • Mark - 2009-08-02 19:59

    maybe a 40% unenployment rate means we have a population that is 40% to large, how about curtailing the birth rate, it doesnt help that one person on minimum wages shares it with 8 others

  • Re Think - 2009-08-03 08:03

    How about us looking at the number of hours workers do reduce them and create more jobs that way, Also learnerships with goverment as well as private comapanies to be compulsory, EG should there be 100 employees there should be 25 learnerships in place. And yes this is only a tip of the iceberg of what may be done. Also how about not paying grants but getting people to work for them it will be more valuable to these indivividuals, as they will feel part of the workforce and drive them on.

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