It was shocking that the ANC government suggested that unemployed people should take any job even if it meant that they would be paid below the breadline, the Independent Democrats (ID) said on Sunday.
“It leaves one wondering whether being employed and still not being able to provide for and support a family with a low living standard is morally less degrading than being unemployed, ID parliamentary leader Joe Mcgluwa said in a statement.
Earlier this month the ANC said it was confident that five million jobs could be created in the next decade, with rural development contributing an expected half a million jobs and manufacturing to 350 000.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told a briefing after the lekgotla that the jobs the party wanted to see need not necessarily be “decent” as there was “nothing more [degrading] than being unemployed”.
The bulk of the jobs — half a million — would be created in rural development and the ANC envisioned an overall increase of 10% of jobs in the government sphere.
By 2020, it hoped to create 250 000 jobs in agriculture, 140 000 in mining output and beneficiation, 225 000 in tourism, 50 000 in business services and 300 000 in the green economy, increasing to 400 000 by 2030.
“The president’s announcement of creating five million jobs within the decade was bound to pick up scepticism especially with 25,3% of the population being unemployed,” said McGluwa.
“President Zuma has his work cut out for him to deliver on his promise as the current 4,3-million unemployed South Africans increased by 300 000 over the last 10 years.”
He said the promise of five million jobs was believed to be nothing else but a “ploy to gain votes” from the destitute segment of the South African population.
“It would be interesting to hear the president justify the quality of jobs the ANC-government had planned for 2011 and the run up to 2020 in his State of the Nation address on February 10,” Mcgluwa said.
“After all, the government can hardly keep up with maintaining and providing day-to-day essential services like sanitation, the eradication of the bucket system, decent housing, and keeping school children from going hungry especially in the Eastern Cape where mismanagement of funds, in excess of R2,5-billion, has seen the sad ending of feeding schemes.” — Sapa