S Africa job growth poor as ANC economic policy drifts

Mail and Guardian

Economists say South African job growth can be expected to be sluggish for the foreseeable future while the ANC battles to settle on an effective economic policy intervention.

 

With news emerging this week that the ANC would be investigating the possibility of a job seeker’s grant, economists are decrying government’s lack of a clear vision for the South African economy.

“What we are seeing is a government incapable of making firm decisions on which the future of our country hinges,” Adenaan Hardien, chief economist at Cadiz Financial Services, told the Mail & Guardian.

Although South Africa’s official jobless rate fell marginally to 24.9% from 25.2% in the first quarter of 2012, there are no indications that even this modest downward trend will continue, with extraneous factors weighing in on the figures.

Right now, about 4.47-million South Africans are without jobs, and most of them are under the age of 35. The job seeker’s grant is largely seen as a substitute for the contentious youth wage subsidy, which Cosatu has vehemently opposed.

The news of the ANC’s investigation into the policy came the same day as the union federation’s announcement that it had temporarily dropped its drive to ban labour-broking.

Cosatu protest marchers

In March Cosatu embarked on organised national protests against labour brokers, which resulted in a meeting between the union federation and the ANC where a deal was reportedly struck. It is suggested both decisions could be seen as the forming of a tacit agreement within the tripartite alliance.

However, the ANC has denied this. “These are two completely different things. The job seeker’s grant is something that can be looked at to help young people as they look for a job. But that doesn’t mean the youth wage subsidy is completely dead; they can be used interchangeably, possibly even together,” Keith Khoza told the M&G. Read more…

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