President Jacob Zuma revealed a range of campaigns to further improve job creation, along with the creation of a R9-billion job opportunities fund, when he declared that 2011 will be South Africa’s “year of job creation” as part of his State of the Nation address in Parliament.
“Our goal is crystal clear,” Zuma said in Cape Town last Thursday. “All of us are looking for a nation whereby millions more South Africans have decent employment opportunities, which includes a modern national infrastructure in addition to a vibrant economy, and additionally in which the quality of life is high.
“All of us have a responsibility and obligation to work hard in order to make this a reality.”
The campaigns Zuma mentioned made it easy to flesh out the government’s New Growth Path, made available the later part of last year, which is designed to create five million employment opportunities by 2020 in addition to bring South Africa’s unemployment rate right down to 15%.
The nation’s unemployment rate decreased marginally during the final quarter of 2010, from 25.3% in last year’s third quarter to 24%.
Six priority areas
In accordance with the New Growth Path, Zuma proclaimed six priority areas are going to be targeted in an attempt to generate significantly more jobs, including: infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the “green” economy, and tourism.
He was quoted saying that the private sector would definitely be essential in the country’s endeavours to provide considerably more jobs and also that business, labour and communities would need to interact with each other to conquer unemployment.
The R9-billion jobs fund would finance new job-creation projects over a three-year period and additionally is going to be complemented as a result of an amount of R10-billion to be earmarked through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) over the upcoming five years intended for investment in projects that have high job-creation potential.
Zuma at the same time declared R20-billion in tax allowances along with tax breaks to encourage investment opportunities, expansions and improvements in South Africa’s manufacturing sector.
The Department of Trade and Industry showcased the particular initiative late last year.
For a project to be able to be eligible, the minimum investment is required to be R200-million for brand new projects, and R30-million intended for expansion and upgrades, he explained. The programme will offer an allowance up to R900-million in tax-deductible allowances for first time investors and R550-million for upgrades and expansions.
Small business support
To further improve help and support to small businesses, the government is likely to have a look at combining three of their monetary funds that focused on small businesses – Khula, the SA Micro-Finance Apex Fund (Samaf), and the IDC’s small business funding activities – into a single unit.
This certainly will make it possible for the government to prevent duplication of financial support, reduce administrative costs in addition to bolster the readily available investment capital for small enterprises, Zuma pointed out.
He went ahead and added the fact that the government campaign to pay small businesses in a timely manner – within 30 days – was indeed proceeding well, adding that during the last financial year the SMME Hotline had received more than 20 000 telephone calls and additionally facilitated about R210-million in payments.
He at the same time added that several other departments had their own unique campaigns, such as the Department of Public Works’ Re Ya Patala (We Pay) initiative.
The government would definitely carry on with legislative reforms in order to make it simpler to register businesses, as well as improve the Competition Act to open the marketplace to new participants.
Zuma pointed out South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme intended to generate 4.5-million job opportunities, and remarked that over a million opportunities have already been created since the beginning of phase 2 of the programme.
The programme concentrates on repairing the country’s roads networks; additionally , the government would definitely furthermore develop national infrastructure to enhance the agricultural sector. Zuma mentioned water reservoirs, windmills and irrigation schemes are going to be rehabilitated.
He pointed out the the conversion process associated with the country’s television and radio signals from an analogue platform to a digital signal would undoubtedly create many employment opportunities in manufacturing, packaging, distribution and installation.
Zuma pointed out the government’s job creation initiative would undoubtedly at the same time greatly enhance youth development.
“The National Youth Development agency is in discussion together with state organs and the private sector to mainstream youth development in public sector programmes as well as to boost youth enterprises and cooperatives,” he was quoted saying.
He explained the government had in addition established the National Rural Youth Service Corps programme to help and assist youth in rural areas. Up to now, in excess of 7 000 young individuals have already been employed in the programme.
The administration has also been taking a look at concentrating on the tourism market, where Zuma remarked that for every 16 tourists that visited the country, one job opportunity was created.
South Africa’s tourist arrivals happen to be up from 6.3-million in 2009 to 7.3-million during the past year.
The country would certainly develop already present market segments while exploring the up and coming economies, at the same time seeking to increase the quantity of international conferences and sports events the country hosts.
The government would certainly at the same time take a look at flexible visa requirements, improved landing slots at foreign airports, combined with superior travel and leisure infrastructure.
Associated with tourism, the government will carry on to build up the cultural industries sector.
Social security reform
Zuma declared that while the government would certainly look for ways to enhance the standard of living of workers, as a result of reviewing the legislation relating to labour brokers, the government’s position paper on social security reform was likely to be unveiled this coming year for discussion.
“Concerns to be addressed range from the funding and nature of the National Social Security Fund, the way the private sector occupational and retirement funds will compliment the entire system, as well as the possible regulatory structure,” he explained.
He explained the government would definitely this coming year finalise and adopt its minerals beneficiation strategy to improve the overall economy.
The nation is abundant with mineral wealth, but the majority of of the mineral deposits mined happen to be subject to beneficiation beyond the borders of South Africa, robbing the country of business opportunities.
Zuma pointed out that ministers would have to detail their respective job targets when they tabled their budget vote speeches.
He said provincial and local governments have already been requested to align programmes together with the job creation imperative, and that state-owned entities and development finance institutions would certainly in addition bolster job-creation efforts.
Source: BuaNews, whalecottage.com, thestar.co.za, regiscpa.com, thonpro.co.za