Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

SA economy needs radical reconstruction, say political groups

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said he was worried that the government was moving ahead with the implementation of employment tax incentives, despite strong opposition to this from labour.

President Jacob Zuma said during his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday night that more than 130 000 jobs have been created since the introduction of the employment tax incentive five months ago. 

But Vavi was not impressed by this. “He [Zuma] says 133 000 jobs were created but we are not told how many jobs have been lost . We are sitting at 36.1% youth unemployment.  It’s a serious crisis,” said Vavi

Cosatu has previously argued that the only way the government could deal with the issue of unemployment was if it changed the current economic policies.

“The need for such a radical reconstruction of our economy was brought home by the latest Stats SA report on youth unemployment, released on June 5 2014, which revealed that unemployment [in the narrow definition] among youth increased from 32.7% to 36.1% between 2008 and 2014, during which the youth unemployment rate has, on average, been 20% higher than for adults. 

“Youth make up 52% to 64% of the working population, yet account for only 42% to 49% of those with jobs. This shocking statistic is symptomatic of the wider economic crisis we face. Despite the advances we have made in the first 20 years of democracy – the scrapping of racist apartheid laws, a Constitution that enshrines human rights, andmany progressive laws and social grants to protect the poorest South Africans – our economy has changed relatively little since 1994”. 

Unhappy opposition
Opposition parties were also not impressed by Zuma’s speech.

Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said Zuma speech ignored issues of corruption and youth development. Maimane said while the national government’s intended intervention in municipalities was a good step in the right direction, he did not understand why Zuma needed to announce something that should have been done long ago.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelizi said he did not expect anything new from Zuma speech. 

“What I liked was his honesty, that the six-million jobs are coming from the expanded public works programme. People expected that these were would be decent jobs,” said Buthelezi. 

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was also scathing. He said Zuma repeatedly mentioned the word radical without understanding its meaning. “You can’t promise radical economic changes and tell people the government will continue with its [current] programmes. 

“He can’t push radical economic policy changes because he knows he will upset his principles. He [Zuma] was supposed to tell the nation that tough action would be taken against mining bosses who are failing to comply with the mining charter,” said Malema.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Matuma Letsoala
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

Reservations about ‘new deal’ for rhinos, lions, elephant, leopards

Draft policy promotes species playing their role in wilderness systems but one conservationist says leopards are being sold out

More top stories

Malawi moves to Maggie Mkandawire’s beat

Empowering her people through music and education, Maggie Mkandawire fights the Covid-19 pandemic in her own unique way

Vaccines split global recovery – IMF

The global economy will expand by 6% this year but the economic gap between nations is widening.

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

Reservations about ‘new deal’ for rhinos, lions, elephant, leopards

Draft policy promotes species playing their role in wilderness systems but one conservationist says leopards are being sold out
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×