Govt aims to create 2m jobs before election: ‘Do they even grasp the challenge?’

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Govt aims to create 2m jobs before election: ‘Do they even grasp the challenge?’

FILE: Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi addresses a media briefing in Pretoria on level 3 lockdown regulations on 29 May 2020. Picture: @GCISMedia/Twitter.

| Bruce Whitfield talks to analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane about Labour Minister Thulas Nexsi’s comments during an interview.

  • ANC
  • SA Economy
  • The Money Show
  • Bruce Whitfield
  • Unemployment
  • Jobs
  • Thulas Nxesi
  • Bloomberg
  • Mamokgethi Molopyane
  • 2024 elections

We’re all painfully aware that South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world at over 35%

The number rises to over 45% if it includes people who have given up on finding work.

Now Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says government wants to add 2 million new jobs before the next election, according to Bloomberg News.

That gives the government until 2024 to achieve what seems would be a miraculous feat.

RELATED: SA’s new unemployment high: ‘Those without strong education left to flounder’

“Whether or not that is achievable, I don’t know,” Nxesi himself told Bloomberg during an interview in Johannesburg.

If government does in fact have a strategy to achieve this aim, it appears to involve reducing the number of undocumented immigrants in the country.

RELATED: Does government want to make it harder to hire foreigners with bill amendment?

There’s been a trend of “employment of foreign workers at the expense of the South African workers,” Nxesi told Bloomberg.

It’s a very sensitive matter everywhere, but if you look in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria and Ghana — they have all declared that you can’t bring anyone from outside if there is a national who is able to perform that job.

Thulas Nxesi – Minister of Labour

Bruce Whitfield gets comment from mining and labour analyst Mamokgethi Molopyane.

In light of the Minister’s statement she questions whether government “truly grasps” the challenge of creating jobs.

Quite a few government strategies like the New Growth Path, NDP, Gear… all of them have failed really to deliver jobs… Even more so, we’ve had presidents come and go and all of them have promised to create jobs, but that does not happen…

Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and labour analyst

… because the underlying stumbling blocks to creating jobs far outweigh the words of politicians claiming that they’ll create jobs.

Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and labour analyst

Nxesi’s jobs target adds up to the number of people who were rendered unemployed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic says Bloomberg.

“Strict labor laws, stagnant productivity, bureaucratic hurdles and a skills shortage have reduced the ability of South African companies to hire additional workers.”

“Let’s throw electricity insecurity into the mix and our low growth rate, and there’s the reason for unemployment” says Whitfield.

Commenting on Nxesi’s statement on foreign nationals, Molopyane points out that we’re part of the global economy where skills and jobs move in and out of the different countries.

Of course we know that ties to the broader narrative… would it be naive to not think it is related to the unrest that we have seen over the years related to service delivery, relating to ordinary South Africans being unhappy…

Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and labour analyst

… Somehow government and leaders have to find a way to fit into that narrative and calm things down… The nearest best thing is to say ‘we are going to tackle non-South Africans who are taking jobs… but we know that is not the case.

Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and labour analyst

Listen to Molopyane on why employment is not growing in South Africa:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Govt aims to create 2m jobs before election: ‘Do they even grasp the challenge?’

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