ANC moots new job reservation plan

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Gwede Mantashe1 Independent Newspapers. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko.

Durban - The ANC is contemplating a policy which would see about 80 percent of jobs in sectors like agriculture, hospitality and the security industry being reserved for South Africans.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said that while there was no decision on this, there were ongoing discussions in the ANC about such a proposal.

This is part of the party’s plan to ensure job creation in the country, but without necessarily closing borders to neighbouring countries.

“Shouldn’t we have laws that say there should be no more than 20 percent foreigners in these sectors?

“I know when I was a mineworker there was a ratio that was enforced. It is not helpful to go to a restaurant and discover that every waiter there is a foreign worker,” he said.

Mantashe was speaking at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus during an ANC debate on jobs.

He said the ANC had an arsenal of plans to ensure unemployment was reduced. These included the controversial youth wage subsidy which according to the ANC created some 56 000 jobs in its first month of implementation.

Despite opposition from some sectors, especially some Cosatu unions like Numsa which marched to Parliament this week – Mantashe said he hoped the programme would be stepped up rather than discontinued.

“Development is an irrefutable argument,” he said of opposition to the plan.

Other new plans in the pipeline include the possible creation of a ministry of Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMMEs).

He said this would not necessarily mean a bloated cabinet as those ministries that do not add value might be cut. He did not say which ministries could be discontinued.

He emphasised that there was no decision as yet as this was still an ongoing discussion in the ANC.

Mantashe defended the continued restructuring of the cabinet, saying this should be done so that the cabinet responds to the needs of the country.

Mantashe said under the ANC the country had seen significant growth. In the 19 years before 1994 the economy grew at a rate of 1.5 percent including many years of negative growth while in the 19 years after 1994 the economy grew at an average of 3 percent.

Moses Tembe, chairman of the KZN growth coalition, was confident the government would meet its target of creating six million jobs in the next five years.

This would require improved economic growth, but Tembe was confident that by 2020 the country would have reached growth of 5 or 6 percent.

Investments in power supply, dams, road infrastructure, ports would stimulate economic growth, he said. - Daily News


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