Thursday, June 29, 2017

South African Government Urged to Hold Job Summit to Tackle High Unemployment
2017/6/29 9:09:12

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) stressed the need on Wednesday to hold a job summit to develop a job plan for the country.

This came after Statistics South Africa released figures on Tuesday which show that the economy has shed close to 50,000 jobs in the last quarter, and almost 60,000 in the past year.

The high unemployment rate, which hovers around 27 percent, poses a significant, real and immediate challenge to the government led by the African National Congress (ANC), COSATU national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said.

The ANC will hold its Policy Conference in early July to map out future steps to cope with the current economic situation.

"COSATU is going to the ANC National Policy Conference to contest the neoliberal policy framework that has left the economy of our country in the hands of the few monopolies and also left more than 9 million people unemployed," Pamla said.

The ANC Policy Conference will have to come out with real and practical solutions to the ever-growing crisis of unemployment, he said.

Also on Wednesday, AngloGold, Africa's biggest gold miner, announced a plan to cut 8,000 jobs since two of its mines have reached the end of their economic lives.

The company said the cuts are part of its effort to improve cost base and production of its operations in the country.

The National Union of Mineworkers called on the company to rethink its position.

COSATU, the country's largest union federation which has more than 2 million members, has been calling for a job summit to be convened to discuss retrenchments and employment creation long before the economy went into a technical recession.

The job summit "will help us develop a jobs plan for the country and not hope and wait for a miracle to help us with unemployment," Pamla said.

COSATU argues that the long-term unemployment problem in South Africa can only be resolved if the flawed structure of the South African economy is addressed.

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