President Ramaphosa meets with social partners on jobs crisis

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza held their first monthly meeting with the leaders of business, labour and communities to tackle the country’s employment crisis on Monday.

The Jobs Summit Presidential Working Committee is set up to accelerate the implementation of measures adopted at last year’s Presidential Jobs Summit to create employment, curtail job losses, provide training and work experience opportunities and unblock regulatory and other hurdles that inhibit employment.

In addition to the President and Deputy President, the committee comprises three senior leaders each from government, labour, business and community.

The committee will meet at the beginning of each month to review progress in the implementation of Jobs Summit undertakings.

President Ramaphosa said he expects the monthly meeting of social partners to be a place where concerns can be raised in a frank and constructive manner and where people can be held to account.

“In setting up these monthly meetings, we were motivated by the scale and the urgency of the crisis we are facing, and by the realisation that if we don’t move more quickly and with greater effect, our economy will lose more jobs than we create,” said President Ramaphosa.

The committee agreed that each meeting should address a particular sector of the economy where intervention is needed to prevent job losses and stimulate far greater job creation.

“We reached important and far-reaching agreements at the Jobs Summit last year, but their effectiveness depends entirely on implementation. We know that despite the economic headwinds that we face – both globally and locally – we have the means as these four social partners to turn our economy around and create jobs,” said President Ramaphosa.

Representatives of employers and unions in each sector will be invited to make presentations on developments, challenges and opportunities.

Some of the sectors that have been initially prioritised by the committee include construction; clothing, textiles, footwear and leather, and metals and machinery.

Over the next few months, the committee will also address key constraints to greater investment and growth, such as the cost of doing business, security of electricity supply and policy uncertainty. –