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Reality check needed on Jobs Summit hype

Publish date: 10 October 2018
Issue Number: 258
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Category: Labour

Every day, 900 people join the ranks of the unemployed in SA and a total of 9.6m have no jobs, according to statistics recently released by the Centre for Development and Enterprise. There are masses of unemployed graduates nationwide. Oliver Meth, a media strategist writes in the Daily Maverick that most delegates that attended the #JobsSummit ‘talk shop’ do not have the faintest idea of what being jobless is like. He said that those affected by the unemployment crisis – the young – have been left out. He says that SA’s massive youth unemployment is leaving young people fed up and frustrated by the lack of job opportunities, disgusted by rampant corruption and poor governance and tired of having no voice. He writes that if this regime continues to lock out the youth, there is no doubt it will fuel more of the energetic protest we have seen in recent times by the country’s burgeoning young population.

Full Daily Maverick report

Meanwhile, SA’s structural unemployment problem – the economy has never been large or labour-absorbing enough to employ all those seeking a livelihood – is worsening, says a Business Day editorial. Unemployment is worsening because since 2015 economic growth has failed to keep pace with population growth and the editorial says this will continue until at least 2020, when there is, at most, a prospect of stronger growth. It says to change this dynamic, the economy needs a range of structural reforms that can drive investment, both public and private. But the editorial says, the reality about the social compacting process in SA at present is that there is little scope for compromises that can shift the investment environment. Even though we are up against it as a society, social partners remain locked into their own sectional and embedded interests.

Full Business Day editorial