Job creation central to govt policy - Zuma

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cape Town - The creation of decent work will remain central to government's economic policy, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

Zuma said the short-term measures government had embarked on to assist people in surviving the recession had not replaced the jobs that must be created by the formal economy.

He was replying to a debate on his State of the Nation Address in Parliament.

Around 480 000 work opportunities were created by government by the end of last year. These opportunities were drawn from the projects associated with the Expanded Public Works Programme.

"In my [State of the Nation Address] I said our long-term infrastructure investment programme will be one of the platforms that will underpin our growth in the next four years," he said.

The state will work to maximise industrial growth opportunities by promoting local manufacture of critical inputs for the infrastructure projects.

Zuma said this will have long term benefits for industrial capacity and boost job creation.

As part of efforts to tackle climate change, a long term programme of developing green industries with a focus on maximising green jobs will be initiated.

Zuma is expecting rural development and food security drive to absorb rural people into sustainable economic activities.

These and other measures, including a strengthened drive on SMME development, will constitute important elements of the programme towards creating decent jobs.

"Many of these issues will be detailed further by the Minister of Trade and Industry and his colleagues in the sector," he said.