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Ramaphosa's job creation promise is not enough, says Cosatu

With over 10 million people unemployed and over three million working but still poor, Cosatu said the president’s proposal to create 155,000 jobs in the next five years was simply not enough.

 President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly on 20 June 2019. Picture: Twitter/@PresidencyZA

JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called for more clarity from President Cyril Ramaphosa before it can comprehensively weigh in on the sixth administration’s plans.

However, the union federation said it hoped the president’s commitment to locate the coordination of the government’s job creation plan in his office would place the task at the centre of all programmes.

Cosatu, which was among the first constituencies in the African National Congress to support Ramaphosa’s campaign as president, also expressed concern about a number of the promises which were contained in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday night.

With over 10 million people unemployed and over three million working but still poor, Cosatu said the president’s proposal to create 155,000 jobs in the next five years was simply not enough.

Cosatu said the economy should be creating at least 50,000 new jobs monthly if the tide was to turn on the 37% unemployment levels when applying the expanded definition.

The federation also took business to task in its reaction to the Sona, saying the private sector failed to honour the agreements reached at last year’s jobs summit to hold back on retrenchments and help create 275,000 jobs a year.

Business cited the harsh economic environment, instability at Eskom that caused load shedding, and government policy inconsistencies as some of the hurdles which have hampered the creation and protection of jobs.

Another disappointment expressed by Cosatu was that Ramaphosa did not make mention of government’s plans to get employers to abide by the country’s labour laws, such as the recently implemented minimum wage and occupational health and safety laws.

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