Election jobs reality

2014-04-13 15:00

Only 1.3 million of the 4?million jobs President Jacob Zuma promised during his first term were created.

However, the latest Labour Market Dynamics report released by Stats SA this week appears to confirm the ANC’s election manifesto claim that the 1?million jobs lost during the global recession have been recovered – and exceeded by 300 000.

Despite this, statistician-general Pali Lehohla says the country is in a worse state in jobs terms than before.

“It’s true indeed that the 1 million jobs lost during the recession have been recovered. But you must remember that in 2008 the population was 48 million. Now the population is 51 million. This means that in proportion to the population we are worse off now than we were in 2008 in terms of job creation.”

The report says between 2008 and 2013, employment increased from 14.6?million to 14.9?million. But over the same period, unemployment also increased from 4.2?million people to 4.9?million people. Sectors of the economy that bled the most jobs were manufacturing, trade and agriculture.

In 2009, Zuma promised to create 4?million jobs by 2014. In 2011, he promised to create another 5?million jobs in 10 years. The ANC’s manifesto for next month’s election promises another 6?million job opportunities in the next five years.

The report paints a bleak picture for the possibility of this because although more people are employed now than in 2006, a larger percentage of the population remains ­unemployed.

Adcorp labour market analyst Loane Sharp said 65% of all the country’s jobs were created by small businesses employing not more than 10 workers.

“All the companies listed on the JSE employ 1.4?million people, which is about 9% of the country’s workforce. You can see that small businesses have a massive potential and should be encouraged through tax incentives and a less onerous labour legislation regime.”

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said: “One of the ANC’s greatest failures is to deliver on jobs.” He said jobs could only be created through a partnership between the public and private sectors. But he believed the ANC would suffer no damage at the polls next month due to unfulfilled employment promises.

“Remember, South Africans don’t vote based on policies and promises. We are not there yet.”

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