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People with jobs in South Africa have reason to celebrate Workers’ Day

With nearly 15 million South Africans being jobless or unable to get a job, according to the country’s expanded unemployment rate of 41,1% (Statistics South Africa – SSA), the people who are lucky enough to have a job may have a reason to tentatively celebrate this day.

The general unemployment rate, reflecting people who are actively looking for jobs, currently stands at 32,1% (11,7 million). On the flip side, only 18,9 million people had jobs in March last year (Statista).

South Africa’s economy declined to such a severe extent under ANC rule that today should rather be dubbed Unemployment Day. Still, the ANC views these figures as a so-called “victory over Apartheid” instead of the extensive crisis that it actually is.

The government’s web page on Workers’ Day (https://www.gov.za/WorkersDay2022) states that “The holiday serves both as a celebration of workers’ rights and as a reminder of the critical role that trade unions, the Communist Party and other labour organisations played in the fight against Apartheid.”

The ANC clearly does not realise that jobs can only be created if government policies are amended to create a favourable environment for investors to grow the economy.

Without economic growth, there can be no sustainable job creation nor any sign of freedom, which South Africans supposedly celebrated on 27 April.

Rigid labour legislation is one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of economic growth and job creation in the country. Not only is it difficult to dismiss incompetent individuals, but it is a continual struggle to meet transformation targets.

The FF Plus’s Election Manifesto for 2024 unequivocally states that the country can only be rebuilt through job creation, which can only be facilitated by a healthy economy. Government cannot create jobs.

Labour legislation should be amended to promote job creation while still maintaining fair labour practices.

Strikes and particularly illegal strikes resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of job opportunities should be effectively controlled and prohibited.

Trade unions’ power should be restricted and their irresponsible actions that lead to job losses should be prohibited by stringent legislation.

Transformation targets and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) should be scrapped from government policy. It will encourage the private sector to appoint the best people for the job which will, in turn, promote economic growth.

This can only happen if the ANC is ousted from power. There is an opportunity to achieve this on 29 May this year when South Africans can and should use their votes to ensure that Workers’ Day is celebrated for the right reasons in the future.

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