JOHANNESBURG – The two-day National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) jobs summit which begins in Johannesburg today should be considered as more of a process than an event, Business Unity (Busa) vice-president Martin Kingston said yesterday.
“We are entering a process not an event… we are not going to solve the problem today, but we are going to identify what the challenges are to both maintaining and sustaining jobs and acknowledging we will not have jobs without economic growth and growth without investment,” he said.
Kingston said commitments made at the summit needed to be measured.
“We need to be cautious that we do not engineer expectations… we need to manage success and failures in a manner that demonstrates we are making progress,” he said.
The inputs of the summit will contribute to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Investment Conference later this month, ahead of which selected business sectors were consulted for input.
Among the proposals to stimulate employment is boosting of local procurement. The Department of Trade and Industry is expected to engage 500 corporates in the next year to enhance local procurement. “There is a commitment by the agricultural sector to procure furniture and inputs locally where possible,” Busa said.
Sipho Pityana, Busa president, said the private sector was willing to help create jobs. “There was a suggestion that we may create 200 000 direct jobs in two years,” he said.
The South African Reserve Bank has painted a bleak picture of the economy after revising its growth forecast to a modest 0.7 percent this year down from 1.2 percent in July.