RECAP: 5 commitments from the 2018 Jobs Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will receive a progress report on the implementation of plans reached in the Framework Agreement that was drawn up by various social partners at the 2018 Jobs Summit.

The summit, held in October last year, involved the input of various stakeholders such as business groups, civil society and government to address the unemployment rate, which was at 27.2% at the time. Unemployment has since jumped to 29%, according to data released by Stats SA this week.

The social partners at the Jobs Summit agreed that there must be monitoring of plans that were decided on, so that there can be meaningful progress in combatting unemployment.

Among the agreements made include establishing a Presidential Jobs Committee which would receive quarterly reports on the implementation of action plans and would monitor the status of unemployment and take remedial action when required.

A joint technical committee was to be established to ensure continued collaboration between social partners, and to make sure progress reports are made publicly available.

Fin24 took a look at the commitments that made in the Jobs Summit Framework Agreement to increase employment in the country.

1. Economic specific interventions

SA's economy has not created sufficient jobs to "sustainably reduce unemployment", the summit noted. This was mainly due to slower growth in agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors - social partners agreed it was necessary to ensure "faster growth" in these sectors as they are key drivers of exports and investment.

To boost the economy, procurement interventions and industrial financing were among the commitments made.

2. Interventions for small, medium and micro enterprises

According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), the 2.8 million small businesses in SA were identified as making a major contribution (60%) to employment. The dti's estimates also show that small businesses contribute between 52% and 57% to GDP.

The summit acknowledged that starting and running a successful business remains a challenge, with half of start-ups failing within the first 24 months. Commitments were made to assist small businesses, through township supplier development programmes as well as development of youth entrepreneurship.

3. Education and skills interventions

Among the commitments made include interventions to support "drop outs" and matrics to have the competencies for employment and self-employment. This is to be made possible through increased access to community colleges and technical and vocational training colleges, among other things.

4. Inclusive growth interventions

Commitments have been made to improve workplace collaboration – this includes worker equity representation on company boards. Further there should be reporting by businesses on executive pay in annual reports and the implementation of the national minimum wage were among the interventions named.

5. Public and social interventions

Public employment interventions, improving the current training and layoff scheme, steps to be taken for the employment tax incentive to work correctly were among the commitments made. Social partners also agreed to the establishment of a national anti-corruption strategy.

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