Delegates at ANC Policy Conference make calls to declare youth unemployment a national crisis

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Members of the African National Congress (ANC) and delegates at the ANC’s sixth national policy conference have discussed and made recommendations on issues related to the country’s transition from coal to clean energy sources; the future of state-owned enterprises, unemployment, and Eskom.

Delegates of the economic transformation commission held a media briefing on the sidelines of the national conference, underway at Nasrec South of Johannesburg, to give feedback on the commission’s engagements.

They have made calls to declare youth unemployment a national crisis. This comes as unemployment among young people hovers above 60%.  

Chairperson of the Economic Transformation Commission, Mmamoloko Kubayi says progress reports were given on resolutions dating back to 2017. She says, however, that delegates have expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of adoption of resolutions.

“There was a common theme around concerns of unemployment, especially for youth unemployment, and mainly even some calls to declare it a national crisis. But we can’t continue like this. We have to be able to put mechanisms in place to be able to respond to youth unemployment, “says Kubai.

Kubayi says delegates have proposed that the just transition from coal should be done at the pace and scale that the country can afford.

“We reaffirm the work that has been done by the climate change commission where they released a just transition framework because when you look at it, it talks about inclusivity in the just transition. So, in the pace that we do not have a mass loss of jobs, we do not have a shutdown of the economy, we do not have an unreliable energy supply,” says Kubayi.

Terence Creamer of the ANC’s Economic Transformation Commission says there was broad support for the latest interventions by President Cyril Ramaphosa to seek alternative sources of electricity supply and to support Eskom’s maintenance programme.

He says cutting red tape will allow for greater investment in electricity capacity.

“Eskom will be required over time to burn less diesel. We are burning many litres of diesel, which is putting financial strain on Eskom.  So, those would be two particular ways the plan would say we’re going to strengthen Eskom in the longer term. Eskom will be a publicly-owned entity. The grid company, in particular, will have a strategic role to play, and the generation side will have a mix of public and private inputs massively transitioned,” says Creamer.

The ANC Economic Transformation Commission has further proposed that state-owned enterprises that do not have a strategic role should contribute to the developmental mandate.

Kubayi says proposals have been made to synchronise some SOEs which are seen as duplicates.

ANC Briefs the media on the 6th National Policy Conference | 30 July 2022