Companies urged to invest in people

Friday, August 7, 2015

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended companies that are investing in developing the skills and capabilities of South Africa's people.

“We commend companies that believe that growth must be seen in people before it's seen in sales volumes, share prices or other measurements of success,” he said.

Speaking at the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) meeting in Johannesburg on Friday, Deputy President Ramaphosa also said the council has a duty to ensure that the country’s vision and activities enable women and girl children in society to fulfil their human potential.

“We know that the education of the girl child is one of the most effective mechanisms to reduce poverty and to advance equality. “Therefore, as we undertake our work, we need to pay particular attention to the representation and progress of girls and women at every stage and in every component of our education and training system,” he said.

Deputy President Ramaphosa told delegates comprising of business people at the meeting that appreciating people for who they are and what they can contribute in a supportive and progressive work environment is what moves the economy and society forward.

“We have taken a deliberate decision to hold our meetings at sites of training and skills development because it grounds the Council in the reality of developing human capital in our country,” he said.

The HRDC is a national, multi-stakeholder advisory body under the leadership and stewardship of the Deputy President. The council provides a platform for stakeholders to review progress achieved in the implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy for South Africa 2010-2030. In terms of the country’s economic development, a major priority of the HRDC has been to address the production of professionals required in key sectors.

In this regard, the council has been looking at the issue extensively. Earlier this year, the council participated in the Cell C’s ‘Take a Girl child to work’ initiative as part of its corporate social investment. Addressing the media on the side lines of the meeting, Pick n Pay Chairman Gareth Ackerman echoed Ramaphosa’s sentiments emphasising the need for people to be skilled.

“Government needs to work with business to create jobs,” he said. Ackerman said business must invest money in creating jobs. Also speaking was W&RSETA CEO Joel Dikgole who said there is a need for more skills in the country. “As Seta we believe that our role is to get those unemployed young people working. We are repositioning the wholesale industry to become an employer of choice,” he said.  

Dikgole called on other partners to get involve in the skilling and creation of jobs. Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said his department was looking at strengthening the universities to produce relevant skills. “Our economy is not growing as we would like it to grow, we need more skills,” he said.


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