Wednesday, October 28, 2015

South Africa: The Recent Unemployment Statistics Prove That the Price for Getting Economic Policies and Relations Wrong is Calamity--COSATU
27 October 2015

The Congress of the South African Trade Unions notes the release of the Statistics South Africa Quarterly Labour Survey for the 3rd Quarter of 2015.

The federation is disturbed but not shocked by the report that shows that the unemployment rate has increased by 0, 5 of a percentage point in the third quarter of this year.

This does not even include those who have given up looking for work out of frustration. We believe that in fact our real unemployment is actually 35%.

COSATU reiterates its call for the review of the macroeconomic framework, as agreed at the Alliance Summit, because it is clear to everyone that currently it is not working.

This economic lull needs courageous and out of the box thinking and decisive leadership, because tinkering with the economic policies has only resulted in the current economic deterioration. The price for getting economic policies and relations wrong is calamity.

Government need to support efforts towards a New Growth Path including the support for skills development and training. Across many countries it is argued that improving the levels of education is critical in eradicating poverty, unemployment and income inequalities.

Our country needs a strategy that is informed by an understanding that with sufficient state-direction and state-ownership of critical sectors, resources can be allocated in such a way that dynamic comparative advantage arises and a strong and vibrant industrial base emerges.

The recent merger between SABMiller and AB Inbev has shown that the much vaunted and mythologized Foreign Direct Investment that we attract does not create jobs at all.

COSATU reiterates its call that things need to change because the status quo is unsustainable. State-ownership in the mines, banks and monopoly industries must be used as a crucial entry point in the quest for economic transformation. There must be action on the side of government in implementing the policies adopted by both the Mangaung and Polokwane Conferences.

These conferences were both very specific and detailed in identifying sectors, in which the state should own and control the means of production; they also called on government to develop forms of interventions such as tighter regulations.

We call of the Department of Labour to stamp its authority in calling all employers to consider prioritising formerly disadvantaged communities when recruiting workers. Skills development at all workplaces is a necessary catalyst to jolt up employment opportunities for all.

The only known cure for poverty is the empowerment of women and the development of the rural economy. Our government needs to ensure that small and rural municipalities are better funded and are assisted in creating sustainable jobs. The movement of people from rural areas into the cities needs to be addressed because the cities are not able to provide all of these people with employment.

Going forward, we reiterate the following macro-economic changes, including:

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Mobile (060) 975 6794

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