Vote for? jobs

2014-05-04 15:00

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Jobs are the big issue in these elections and politicians agree the one way to foster economic growth is to stimulate local manufacturing and export locally produced goods to the rest of Africa. Major political parties pegged manufacturing as the main job creator and this is how they plan to give it special attention in the next few years. Thuletho Zwane and Mamello Masote report


The ANC has pledged to increase manufactured and value-added exports with the rest of Africa and focus on a regional industrialisation agenda

in Africa.

It plans to scale up its industrial policy action plan.

To contribute to boosting local manufacturing and creating jobs, the state will buy 75% of its goods and services locally – at least that will be the target. The party’s policy head, Enoch Godongwana, said: “Among the kind of interventions that are planned are the manufacturing development incentives at R10.3?billion, and economic competitiveness and support packages of R15.2?billion.”

The ANC will spend R3.6 billion to offer incentives to special economic zones so that they export more value-added products.

The ANC said job creation and economic growth through exports to Africa will be challenging.

“We aren’t the only players in Africa. Look at China,” said Godongwana.


The DA believes the government must support labour-intensive sectors like agriculture, fisheries, mining and tourism, and grow new industries in areas like IT.

It plans to manage input costs by keeping electricity price increases lower and pushing for changes to the fuel price formula.

The DA said mining’s contribution to the economy is dependent on investment, so it would aim for policy certainty.

The DA promises 6?million jobs and 8% economic growth.

According to Tim Harris, the shadow finance minister, South Africa doesn’t trade enough with Africa.

“In 2011, South Africa was the 10th-biggest exporter to the rest of Africa. This is an extraordinary situation and explains how we are growing at 2% and the rest of the continent is growing at an average of 6%,” said Harris.


For the IFP, the country’s labour legislation and “the unions holding government to ransom” are reasons behind joblessness and slow economic growth.

“We need to transform our country’s rigid labour legislation that hinders employment by making it next to impossible to hire and fire,” said the party’s secretary-general, Sibongile Nkomo.

The IFP would establish more special economic zones, particularly in rural areas, to help communities become self-sustainable.

Tax incentives would help to stimulate growth, jobs and development in these areas.

The party will encourage farmers to grow crops for export, says Nkomo.

The IFP will also change trade legislation.

“We must amend legislation and promote anti-dumping regulations to protect industry and create jobs,” said Nkomo.

Cope: YES

The research manager for the Congress of the People (Cope), Farouk Cassim, said South Africa was strategically placed to be the gateway to Africa and must take advantage of it. It will push for the price of energy to be reduced so that South Africa can become competitive.

Cope believes South Africa needs better marketing and plans to follow the Chinese model, which involves sending its citizens all over the world to market Chinese products.

Cope intends to provide microcredit guarantees to small business and will also support the growth of agriculture, manufacturing and mining, “which are seriously underperforming at the moment”, according to Cassim.

Agang: YES

Agang never mentions the word ‘manufacturing’ in its manifesto.

It’s proposals for economic growth and development revolve around “unleashing” entrepreneurs. To do this, Agang proposes relaxed regulations and changing the tax system for small businesses. Competition law and industrial policy should be used to lower barriers to entry.

The party makes one of the few mentions of foreign businesses in this election, saying foreign entrepreneurs in high-growth sectors should be welcomed.

The party wants government to create “one-stop shops” for all the various support and financing programmes in the different levels of government.

Leader Mamphela Ramphele intends to focus on agriculture and agroprocessing, as well as on enhancing rural development, to create jobs.

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