Ramaphosa confident of his PES job creation scheme
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that the government was on track to create 100 000 new jobs by the end of 2023 as it ramps up the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) plan.
This comes as South Africa last week received a second $1bn Covid-19 emergency loan to finance job creation in the country, in particular the first phase of the PES. Ramaphosa said the aim of this initiative was to create 500 000 new jobs by the end of 2030 in the business services sector, which includes call centres, technical support and back and front office services.
He said the PES had already enabled the creation of 8 000 new jobs in the industry during the last two quarters, most of which have gone to previously unemployed youth. “The sector generates R1.9 billion a year in export revenues and attracts significant capital investment,” Ramaphosa said.
“With global demand on the rise, and with a compelling and competitive proposition to global buyers and investors, the sector in South Africa is on track to achieve its target of 100 000 new jobs by the end of 2023 and 500 000 new jobs by the end of 2030.”
Last week, South Africa was ranked first in the world as a destination for global business services in a survey of over 600 executives from eight key sourcing markets.
Ramaphosa said the country should leverage on its sophisticated digital infrastructure and young skilled workforce as the country forges ahead with the economic reconstruction and recovery.
“These unique attributes have provided us with a strong foundation to work from,” he said.
“However, last week’s achievement would not have been possible without the proactive efforts of the government and the sector over several years.”
Old Mutual Wealth investment strategist Izak Odendaal said the government needed supportive policy changes to sustain the recovery beyond the immediate bounce from last year’s record contraction.
Odendaal said the country’s infrastructure plan was also at an early stage but was seen by Ramaphosa’s administration as a key driver of growth.
“The same is true of other economic and governance reforms,” Odendaal said. “Patchy progress is still progress.
“While there is a lot of political noise at the moment, it does appear as if there will be policy continuity for the next few years, which will be important to allow these reforms to mature and bear fruit.”