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Nxesi blames elections for slow implementation of jobs summit goals

The recent staggering unemployment statistics have now pushed government, labour and business to recommit to fast-tracking the implementation of resolutions from last year's jobs summit to create jobs and grow the economy.

Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi delivers his department's budget vote before MPs in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @deptoflabour/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The recent staggering unemployment statistics have now pushed government, labour and business to recommit to fast-tracking the implementation of resolutions from last year's jobs summit to create jobs and grow the economy.

On Thursday, the social partners met under the banner of Nedlac to give President Cyril Ramaphosa a progress report on projects agreed to at the gathering.

The two-day presidential summit brought the partners together with the aim of finding solutions to the unemployment crisis.

Many commitments were made at the jobs summit last year aimed at addressing the high levels of unemployment.

Ten months later there was not much to show for them.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulani Nxesi explained:

“The momentum of the implementation was disturbed by the political period of the elections.”

South Africa's unemployment rate hit 29% in the second quarter of 2019, the highest level since the first quarter of 2008. Picture: AFP

And it seems this week's announcement that 6.7 million South African are unemployed was a wakeup call.

“There’s going to be focus on these programmes of the jobs summit, we’ve taken a decision that they will meet once a month.”

The media briefing yesterday didn't offer much, no details on the progress report delivered to the president, so there was no clarity on what last year's jobs summit managed to achieve.

All government, labour and business could do is give a reassurance that this time they will fast track the implementation of projects agreed to.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)