Government is working with social partners to address SA’s unemployment crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
The president was delivering the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Thursday. This is the 25th SONA of the democratic SA. The president highlighted the progress made in job creation – SA’s unemployment rate is at 27.5%, according to the latest figures from Statistics South Africa.
“We have focused our efforts on reigniting growth and creating jobs,” Ramaphosa said. “Our greatest challenge is to create jobs for the unemployed of today, while preparing workers for the jobs of tomorrow,” he said.
Over the past year, a Presidential Jobs Summit was held where stakeholders agreed to measures, which once implemented could double the number of jobs created in the economy each year, he said.
Government and social partners are also working on initiatives to include youth in economic activity – such as the employment tax incentive which will be extended for another 10 years, the president said.
“We call on all companies, both big and small, to participate in this initiative and thereby contribute not only to building their business but also to building the economy and fostering social cohesion.”
Last year government also announced that it is scrapping work-experience for entry level positions at state institutions.
“Our young people need to be given a real head start in the world of work. They should not face barriers and hindrances as they seek to find work.”
Government is also focussing on policies and programmes in parts of the economy which are “labour intensive” these are the agriculture, tourism and the ocean economy.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) meanwhile is arranging a national strike against job losses.
According to Cosatu the real unemployment rate is at 28%. Union members will march to government buildings and offices of state-owned enterprises and major companies as well as Parliament, Fin24 previously reported.