Jobs Summit interventions 'doable' - Ramaphosa


Interventions put in place at the Jobs Summit will help SA's sluggish economy on the path to recovery, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.

In his closing address, Ramaphosa said he was confident that the measures proposed at the two-day summit were "doable".

It was time to get the ball rolling on the implementation process, he added.

The Jobs Summit, which ended on Friday, involved input from various business groups, civil society and government. It was called to address the country's unemployment rate, currently at 27.2%, according to official statistics.

The expanded definition of unemployment, including people who have stopped looking for work, increased to 37.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

Building blocks

"We have been putting [building] blocks in place for the recovery of our economy as we move towards the investment summit," Ramaphosa said.

Government is due to hold an investment summit later this month.

Stakeholders at the Jobs Summit signed a framework agreement which outlines a series of measures aimed at stemming the tide of unemployment and job losses.

It aims to create 275 000 jobs annually over five years, a figure Ramaphosa said initially left some stakeholders sceptical.

Meet again in two years

"There were those who were cautious about meeting the numbers, because in previous occasions we never reached the targets," he said.

Another job summit will be held again in two years’ time to evaluate progress, while a task team has been set up to monitor the implementation of the resolutions taken at the Midrand summit.

The team will report to the presidency on a quarterly basis, a decision hailed by both business and labour.

Trust and confidence 'lost'

The 2018 Jobs Summit was a third government-led initiative aimed at addressing the country's unemployment crisis, with the first meeting convened in 1998.

Ramaphosa dismissed naysayers who had branded the summit as a talk shop, noting the major financial boost from the financial sector, which commitment R100bn over the next five years to support black businesses.

Beverages giant SAB pledged to create 10 000 jobs by 2022, including a mechanism offering support to black entrepreneurs, with coaching and mentoring.

Central to the commitment made by the summit was the rebuilding of trust in the public service and public institutions, which was eroded by corruption, Ramaphosa stressed.

"Trust and confidence have been lost. We have since the beginning of the year been involved in the rebuilding of trust […] and addressing corruption."

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