Meeting of the presidential labour working group convened

Johannesburg – The presidential labour working group is meeting this week to discuss the economy and other related matters, the Presidency said on Sunday.

The group comprises the president, deputy president, economic cluster ministers and the leadership of trade union organisations Cosatu, Fedusa and Nactu.

The meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, is expected to report back on economic growth measures, “so that jobs can be saved and created in the country, given the difficult economic climate”, said President Jacob Zuma's spokesperson, Bongani Ngqulunga, in the statement.

It follows a similar one attended by various business leaders last month. “Re-igniting economic growth is the country’s key priority at the moment,” the statement said.

President Jacob Zuma had tasked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and Telkom SA chair and Business Unity SA president, Jabu Mabuza, to “lead a collaborative effort to strengthen short term confidence and reinforce long term growth”.

Progress made

According to the statement, progress has been made. “A small and medium enterprise fund is being established, with over R1bn already committed by companies,” said Ngqulunga.

Tourism and agriculture had been identified as sectors that could sustain short-term growth. “Recommendations on possible interventions have been compiled,” the Presidency said, adding that options where the government could co-invest in the private sector were being assessed.

“The aim is to leverage the strengths of the private sector both in terms of their expertise and balance sheets while strengthening state-owned companies.”

Measures to assist with youth employment were also being investigated.

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