Dear NEASA member
February's employment figures have sent shock waves through the country as it recorded the biggest monthly loss in almost three years. The latest Adcorp Employment Index showed that the South African economy shed 118 397 jobs in February.
From a sector perspective, the impact was diverse. All economic sectors shed jobs during the month but mining, transport and logistics were particularly hard hit. The mining sector was affected by work stoppages due to strike action, which many analysts believed would translate into more job losses.
These figures comes just a few weeks after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget Speech where economic growth and job creation by government featured Centre stage.
NEASA believes if government was serious about creating more real jobs, they would allow the private sector to spearhead this task. Unless government creates a much more deregulated business environment, especially with respect to SMME’s, and unless business gets the message that they’re indeed welcome and can invest with confidence, we are not going to create jobs. Government’s actions should illustrate that they indeed understand the importance of the private sector and that they understand what creates a vibrant private sector.
It is also NEASA’S view that banking on the youth wage subsidy to tackle the problem of youth unemployment will also not fly. Government should stop to think along the lines of subsidies, which are not sustainable in the long run. South Africa need’s the youth to actively contribute to the economy and wealth creation, and in order to do that we must remove the obstacles that are preventing them from entering the labour market.
Source: Business Day, Adcorp’s Employment Index.