Tue. Jul 23rd, 2019

How Cyril Ramaphosa plans to create 200 000 jobs every year until 2029

Municipal cost containment regulationsIt is all good and well to dream but does the president have a practical and applicable plan of action?

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President Cyril Ramaphosa, once again, escaped another State of the Nation address (SONA 2019) without so much as a heckle from the opposition, on Thursday night.

A significant part of his address that the nation and the watching world, alike, tuned in for was the issue around the country’s flailing economy and the rapid growth of unemployment.

As wary as he was of the reality, Ramaphosa was also pretty optimistic, much to EFF leader, Julius Malema’s irritation.

The president lifted the lid on his plan-of-action in addressing the scourge of unemployment but only allowed us a little peek inside what he had in store.

Out of all the assertions he made, his 10-year plan of creating 2-million jobs in South Africa stood out for critics, who questioned his logic in arriving at such a blindly optimistic figure.

The president, however, maintained that this is very much possible, and with a wry smile on his face, he offered an overview of how his government, in conjunction with cooperation from the private sector, would achieve this.

How Cyril Ramaphosa plans to create 200 000 jobs per year

Cyril Ramaphosa detailed his plan to regurgitate South Africa’s employment condition. This, he admitted, would only be achievable through collaborative efforts from all corners of the country.

Private sector pledges

He revealed that since the inaugural Job Summit of 2018, the private sector has shown enthusiasm in playing a role in uplifting the unemployment plague that has festered in our society over the years.

He announced that, so far, key stakeholders in the sector have committed to invest R840-billion in a total of 43 projects in more than 19 sectors.

This means that for at least the next five years, the mass employment project may birth an estimated 155 000 jobs per year.

Regurgitating agriculture and tourism

Cyril Ramaphosa also pointed to South Africa’s two most important sectors that hold a lot of stake in its GDP — agriculture and tourism — as another tool for creating employment.

He stated that by developing new markets, and effectively supporting key value chains and products, there is an opportunity to give rise to an avenue for job creation, and limiting agriculture’s reliance on imports.

Accelerating employment in government

The president conceded to the fact that the youth unemployment rate, currently standing a little above 50%, is a national crisis. Therefore, he said, it was crucial for the government to open up avenues of employment within its departments through long-term projects and initiatives.

Cyril Ramaphosa’s 10-year employment plan faces criticism

As ambitious as the plan is, for some, including Malema, it is a pipedream that South Africa does not need at the moment. The opposition leader, reacting to the speech, stated, with great frustration, that Ramaphosa basically went up to the podium to tell the world he had abandoned the National Development Plan (NDP) he kept referencing.

“If you look at jobs, he says two million jobs over the next 10 years, 200,000 jobs a year. That is not what the National Development Plan says. The NDP speaks about 11 million jobs in 2030, so he will create two million jobs by 2029, meaning he has abandoned the NDP.

“The man spoke about one million youth employment initiatives, but according to their own website, only 6,000 of those initiatives were created. The 11 million jobs of the NDP has been abandoned and we have a new plan called dreams. He must be honest that the economy is not growing at the rate we want, therefore I have no idea what to do.” Malema exclaimed.

It is too early to say whether this plan will yield positive results or not. All we can do, at this point is hold the president to his words.

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