ANC’s job targets ‘not realistic’

The African National Congress’s (ANC) job creation targets are unrealistic as many of the sectors earmarked for creating employment have been shedding jobs for years, the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said on Monday.

The institute said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had identified “mining output and beneficiation” as a sector in which 140 000 jobs would be created by 2020.

However, the mining sector had shed 189 000 jobs in the past decade, despite a commodities boom during much of that time, said SAIRR head of special research Anthea Jeffery,

Mantashe also envisioned that 350 000 jobs would be created in the manufacturing sector over the next 10 years. This sector had shed 135 000 jobs since 2001.

In agriculture, 319 000 jobs were lost in the past decade, but Mantashe hoped the sector would create 250 000 jobs by 2020, Jeffery said.

“These figures in themselves are enough to cast doubt on the ANC’s employment projections, for it will be difficult to reverse job-shedding trends which are already so entrenched,” she said.

‘Atypical jobs’
She said no mention had been made of construction, even though the sector had created 380 000 jobs in the past 10 years.

Jeffery said four new labour laws in the pipeline made the prospect of creating work even more remote.

“Since rigid labour laws have contributed to a loss of permanent jobs in the past decade, and the bills are intended to tighten labour regulation very much further, the hope that the bills will generate many more permanent jobs is illusory at best,” she said.

The bills on labour brokers sought to end temporary or “atypical” employment which was the only type of work growing quickly from 2000, Jeffery said.

“Atypical jobs” grew from 1,55-million in 2000 to 3,89-million in 2010, an increase of 151%.

“However, since these millions of atypical jobs undercut union power, the department of labour seems to have no qualms about adopting laws intended to bring them to an end,” she said. — Sapa

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