Presidential Labour Working Group meets in Pretoria

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pretoria – The Presidential Labour Working Group meeting, chaired by President Jacob Zuma, is currently underway at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

President Zuma convened the meeting to discuss matters relating to the economy as well as other socio-economic issues.

In his opening remarks, President Zuma noted that the current economic situation makes it difficult to create jobs and this affects the entire country, especially the youth.

“Successful nations are built on the foundation of common purpose. Our culture of consultation and dialogue to build a shared national vision and unity of purpose is what has made it possible for South Africa to succeed,” he said.

President Zuma said it is encouraging that all sectors of society are united in efforts to find ways to reignite growth.

“Without growth, it will be difficult to create the number of jobs that we need to break the back of unemployment. We must now do more, together, to strengthen the economy and address the domestic constraints to growth, which are in our control…” he said.

President Zuma said government and Labour have a common goal, which is the protection of workers in general and vulnerable workers in particular.

“We need to find ways to leverage these achievements in a manner that boosts economic recovery and a better life for all our people. If we work together in the manner we have done in the past few months, I am convinced that we will overcome the challenges that we face,” he said.

The Presidential Labour Working Group meeting -- which brings together the President, Deputy President, Economic Cluster Ministers and the leadership of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, Federation of Unions of South Africa and National Council of Trade Unions -- follows the recent economic renewal report back meeting to the President on 9 May by business, which was also attended by labour.

Earlier on Tuesday, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe told the media that the meeting will look at various aspects of the economy and the implementation of the Nine-Point Plan.

“We therefore need all hands on deck. Labour is a very important stakeholder in the economy,” he said.

Minister Radebe said when the economy is not doing well, those who are most affected are the workers. He said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will give a report on the state of the economy.

The meeting is also scheduled to reflect on the work being done by government, business and labour to reignite growth so that jobs can be saved and created in the country, given the difficult economic climate and other issues of interest to labour and government.

According to Statistics South Africa in 2016, 8.9 million South Africans or over 35% of economically active adults are unemployed.  –

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