President Cyril Ramaphosa will open the much-anticipated Jobs Summit in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Thursday. The two-day summit will bring together South Africa’s best minds to seek innovative ways of creating jobs.
The low economic growth environment coupled with poor investor confidence are translating to weak job creation prospects in the economy.
On the other hand, the high cost of living is adding pressure on consumers limiting spending and leading to low demand for goods. That lack of demands then leads to companies cutting production and jobs – keeping the unemployment rate stubbornly high.
Economists say there are no quick-fixes to this crisis; the jobs summit should get stakeholders talking to churn out solutions.
South Africa’s unemployment rate stands at 27.7%. The number is higher when the number of discouraged job seekers is counted.
Mostly impacted by the scourge is the youth, accounting for over 60% of the unemployed. The jobs summit will provide a platform for government, business, labour and community organisations to try and find solutions.
With the economy growing at a snail’s pace, solutions will not be easy. It is the productive – labour intensive sectors that have been shedding jobs. Some are not optimistic about the jobs summit coming up with solutions.
Economist Lumkile Mondi says there are no quick fixes to the challenges the country is facing. He says government should get down to basics and address the high cost of living, incentivise investors and make it easy to do business.
Economists believe while the stimulus package will help, it will take some time before the country sees rewards. They say more needs to be done in terms of rules and regulations governing small business as too much regulation can hamper their growth.