Numsa rejects New Growth Path

2010-12-09 14:44

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has rejected the government’s New Growth Path and called for more debate on the proposed job creation initiative.

“We do not endorse the New Growth Path.

We are of the firm view that it does not represent the interests of our members and the poor,” general secretary Irvin Jim told reporters after Numsa’s central committee meeting in Johannesburg.

He said the microeconomic package that underpinned the plan had more in common with policies that led to jobless growth in the country.

“The microeconomic package of the document represents more continuity instead of a break with Growth, Employment and Redistribution (Gear).”

Jim said Numsa felt that the fiscal, monetary and exchange rate measures in the New Growth Path would choke many of the “noble objectives” outlined in the document.

“Our experience with the Gear strategy is that any growth path must be judged not by the targets on job creation it sets, but by instruments of macroeconomic management that it adopts.”

Describing the new policy’s macroeconomic package as conservative, Jim said another critical issue was that it depended on the private sector to drive economic growth.

He said contrary to expectation that the private sector would create more work, jobs were lost in the private sector since the early 1980s.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel launched the New Growth Path document in November.

It intends to create 5 million jobs and reduce unemployment from 25% to 15% over the next 10 years.

It aims to create 300 000 jobs in agricultural smallholder schemes, plus 145 000 jobs in agroprocessing by 2020.
The mining sector was projected to create 140 000 additional jobs by 2020 and 200 000 by 2030.

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