SA needs clear jobs policy: DA

2011-06-21 14:50

South Africa needs a clearer economic policy given the small increase in people employed in the first quarter of this year compared to the country’s jobs target, the DA said today.

About 47 000 more people were employed in the formal non-agricultural sector between the quarters ending December 2010 and March 2011, Statistics SA said earlier.

The March 2011 Quarterly Employment Statistics survey found the number of people employed in this sector increased 0.6% over the quarters from 8 251 000 employees to 8 298 000.

“Although any increase is welcome, it is common knowledge that we require significantly higher employment growth to overcome our enormous unemployment challenge, especially among young people,” said Democratic Alliance youth leader Makashule Gana.

“It is in this light that recent policy debates and the growing degree of uncertainty about South Africa’s future economic policy framework are especially concerning.

“We need a clear and coherent policy framework that will allow us to maximise our rate of job creation – and a plan to open up opportunity to the youth,” he said.

Gana said that while the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan had introduced the New Growth Path with its aim of creating five million jobs by 2020, Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant was introducing new labour legislation “that would in all likelihood make labour laws even more stringent, thus discouraging job creation”.

At the same time, the African National Congress Youth League was threatening to nationalise mines and banks, and seize land without restitution.

“The Zuma administration, and the ANC as a whole, have failed to articulate a consistent vision for job creation and economic growth, and that is why we are creating jobs at the slow pace indicated by Stats SA today,” he said.

The DA called for a “stable and sensible macroeconomic climate, coupled with appropriate interventions to increase job creation and skills development”.

These interventions could include a wage subsidy, a tax rebate for skills development, opportunity vouchers for young people, a tax holiday for newly established small-scale enterprise, increased investment in infrastructure development and maintenance, and additional support for small and medium enterprises, Gana said.

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