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Begrotingstem vir die Departement van Arbeid / Budget Vote for the Department of Labour

Voorsitter en Geagte Minister,

An opinion piece by the political analyst, R.W. Johnson, reminded me of an important part of our history. Minister, in 1994 the ANC-posters shouted out jobs, jobs, jobs! Unemployment then stood at 3,7 million while today it stands at an eye-popping 9,4 million. One can only deduce that there is something seriously wrong with the government’s economic policies.

South Africa’s labour force is still very young, and in most cases this demographic dividend leads to economic growth. However, in our case this situation opens us up to the possibility of revolution. With so many young people unemployed and no real hope to become employed, we have reason to be extremely concerned.

Die probleem is natuurlik dat die regering se ekonomiese beleid eendersyds en beleid wat die voorvereiste is vir ekonomiese groei soos onderwys andersyds, op die verkeerde spoor is en binnekort met die aankomende trein met die naam realiteit gaan bots. Kom ons kyk na ‘n paar aspekte in die verband:

1. Die bestaande arbeidsbeleid is daarop gerig om bestaande poste bloot te herverdeel en die unies toe te laat om onrealistiese verhogings te eis, veral in die staatsdiens. Herverdeling vind plaas deur middel van regstellende aksie en swart ekonomiese bemagtiging terwyl werk al skaarser raak. Dit is nie volhoubaar nie.
2. Die instelling van ‘n minimumloon is in ‘n ideale wêreld waar sterk ekonomiese groei bestaan en baie werk beskikbaar is, ‘n sinvolle gedagte. In ons wêreld is dit ekonomiese selfmoord met die werkers wat die grootste prys gaan betaal. Besighede gaan eenvoudig nie nog poste skep nie en gaan bestaande poste minder maak.
3. The most important prerequisite to ensure a growing economy and job creation, apart from private property, is a quality secondary education. Unfortunately, the country’s state of basic education is horrific as evidenced by the low international rankings in mathematics and science. This means that school leavers will only be employable as low-level workers. Most of these workers are employed in the agricultural and mining sectors. These sectors are also some of the easiest to mechanise, and it is happening and ending many jobs at an increasing pace.
4. This brings me to the buzz word currently being used by many ministers, namely the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This event is seen as a leverage that can enable economic growth in South Africa. The reality is, however, that this revolution presents one of the most dangerous attacks on human employment in known history. This event will not only replace basic employment but will even present a danger for higher-level jobs in the medical, financial and legal industries. This means that we will need to reframe the economic and labour debate completely going forward.
5. Lastly, jobs require investment from local and international sources. Both are wary of uncertainty and given the importance of certainty of property rights for economic growth, “expropriation without compensation” is the ultimate red flag for investment to take flight. The decimation of jobs starts right there.

Minister, indien hierdie kwessies nie aangespreek word nie, sal die ekonomie sy kreeftegang gaan en werksgeleenthede sal soos mis voor die son bly verdwyn.

Dankie Voorsitter

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