Business news in brief

2016-06-09 06:00

Union pushes for minimum wage while employment outlook remains bleak

ACCORDING to Cosatu general secretary Bekhi Ntshalintshali it is totally unacceptable that two years after the government had committed to a national minimum wage, no significant progress had been made in this regard.

Referring to the lack of progress at recent negotiations at the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), he endorsed the view of the labour contingent at Nedlac that workers and society should be mobilised on a national basis to protest against the lack of a minimum wage in South Africa. It is reported that the business constituency at Nedlac, previously against any form of minimum wage, is now advocating a minimum wage of R1 800 pm while their labour counterparts are suggesting no less than R4 500 pm.

Meanwhile, many economists are predicting that the economy will shed a further 200 000 jobs in the next quarter due to marginal economic growth and a general lack of foreign investment in South Africa.

Deputy minister engages youth about jobs

A discussion forum involving youth and the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Buti Manamela, highlighted issues of concern for young job seekers.
Some of the issues raised:

•Education system is not geared to prepare job seekers for the “world of work”.

• Serious mismatch between what the education system produces and what the job market demands.

• System (education) does not provide skills necessary to be innovative job creators.

• A lack of re-skilling of workers in declining industries.

• Inability to find work in their chosen fields

Manamela commented: “What is important is the fact that there is this engagement and on my part there is an obligation to take matters forward.”

Good news for sugar farmers

While announcing disappointing results for the 2015/16 financial year, Tongaat Hulett chief executive Peter Staude commented that the industry should benefit in the next financial year from import protection measures implemented in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

South Africa recently raised the dollar-based reference price of sugar meaning that importers will now pay tariffs on incoming shipments.

The recent drought as well as cheap imports have severely impacted on local sugar farmers.

Union pushes for minimum wage while employment
outlook looks bleak. Good news for sugar farmers. Minister
engages youth about jobs

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