The shocking figures on unemployment which were released by Statistics South Africa (Stats-SA) stand in sharp contrast to the election promises of president Jacob Zuma earlier this year that 6 million new job opportunities will be created by 2019.
Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Labour, said that in particular the figures on agriculture is extremely worrying but that the FF Plus has for a long time been warning about job losses due to the ANC’s labour policy and the fact that farmers are targeted by agitators who fan violence and chaos in the agricultural sector.
A good example of this is the unrest on farms in De Doorns in the Western Cape.
Adv. Alberts says farmers will increasingly start to mechanise and scale down their operations as far as possible to survive with the most essential staff.
“The ANC government is now eventually paying the price for its rigid labour legislation. Unemployment will in the foreseeable future increase sharply and it will be seen in sectors such as mining in particular.
“The industrialisation action program of the department of trade and industry is a courageous attempt to stimulate the economy and job creation, but it won’t make any headway with the structural problems which stringent labour legislation and Black Economic Empowerment are causing.
“With the president’s promises in January of 6 million job opportunities he said this would be done through the government’s extended public works programme.
“Shortly thereafter, with his State of the Nation Address in February he again said the government would intervene to improve worker’s circumstances with the establishment of a minimum wage. Minimum wages is precisely one of the reasons for job losses.
“It is this type of contradiction which makes one wonder about the government and its leaders’ capabilities to bring about a significant improvement in the country’s economy and its labour problems,” Adv. Alberts said.
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