Oliphant disregards SMME job losses - Neasa

A group of strikers wearing Numsa t-shirts invade the premises of a business in Gauteng. (Screen grab, submitted by Fin24 user)
A group of strikers wearing Numsa t-shirts invade the premises of a business in Gauteng. (Screen grab, submitted by Fin24 user)

Johannesburg - By only engaging with the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of SA (Seifsa) and the Engineering and metal workers' union (Numsa) in an attempt to find a settlement for the current metal strike, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant is sending a message that she has no regard for the interests of small and medium size business (SMMEs), The National Employers' Association of South Africa (Neasa) said on Friday.

"Government calls on the private sector to create jobs. It is, however, in negotiations such as these that the structures should be created in which sustainable employment and job creation should take place," said Neasa CEO Gerhard Papenfus.

"Unless the parties to the Bargaining Council see to it that it happens in these negotiations, it won't happen at all."

The National Development Plan foresees that 90% of jobs will be created by SMMEs by 2030.

"What is currently happening in the metal industry is in actual fact taking this industry in exactly the opposite direction, namely fewer jobs created by SMMEs," said Papenfus.

"The minister might be successful in brokering a deal which will bring an end to the strike, but in doing so she might also create the cause for further accelerated job losses in the metal industry."

Seifa's employer membership comprises less than 18% of employers in the industry, according to Papenfus.

"Does the minister only talk to them because of the big employers among their ranks? Is she succumbing under pressure from Numsa? Is that where the less complicated, one-size-fits-all, job-destroying deal lies? How does the minister explain her total disregard for SMMEs?" asked Papenfus.

"The minister must be well aware that a settlement without Neasa will not survive the benchmark of extension to the whole of the industry."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 1411 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 3540 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 1878 votes