ANC concerned about lack of jobs

2011-09-16 14:05

The ANC is worried over a rise in the unemployment rate, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said today.

“It’s of particular concern to us that despite job creation being one of the top five priority areas of the ANC government and particularly this year being a year of job creation – very few jobs have been created and the unemployment rate had increased further,” he said in a statement.

The ANC was responding to the SA Reserve Bank’s (SARB) September 2011 quarterly bulletin released on Tuesday.

The bank said very few jobs were created during the second quarter of 2011, and the unemployment rate had increased further.

Mthembu said: “Creating jobs and sustainable livelihoods is the challenge we should all rise to and that we should all share.”

The ANC’s economic transformation committee would talk to all sectors of the economy to ensure common cause on economic growth that would result in job creation, he said.

“The ANC intends to engage all economic stakeholders so that there is national ownership in terms of addressing the ills of unemployment.”

The ANC was disappointed at the loss in economic growth momentum, which the SARB said had slowed to 1.3 percent in the second quarter as manufacturing, agriculture and mining activity waned. Economic growth was 4.5 percent in the first quarter.

The ANC commended the provincial and local governments for increasing expenditure on housing and construction works, as well as agricultural, mining and communication businesses for adding capital stock to accelerate capital formation.

“However, we strongly feel that other sectors of the economy need to do more than they are doing to contribute to our national objectives of growing the economy and creating jobs,” Mthembu said.

The ANC agreed with the SARB that a more aggressive approach to investment was needed by both the public and private sectors to create jobs.

Mthembu called on the SA Revenue Service to address “sluggish” tax collections, and for banks to give more loans to the domestic private sector to stimulate economic activity.

He said the ANC shared concerns raised by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday about local government spending.

“As far as the ANC is concerned, all local authorities have to focus on improving basic service delivery and ensuring that they have funds for the maintenance of infrastructure, as well as spend money on infrastructure of a capital nature and cut all the frills, fat, pomp and ceremony,” Mthembu said.

Gordhan told a media briefing on local government budgets and expenditure that municipalities had to do more to ensure they took decisions that ensured better quality spending.

These included focusing on delivering services, building capacity, building economic infrastructure, investing the right amount in capital infrastructure and maintaining and developing infrastructure.

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