SA labour market will change post Covid-19: Tito Mboweni
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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Friday hinted that South Africa’s labour market would be changed drastically after the coronavirus has been defeated.
Addressing the nation to provide detail on the R800 billion major fiscal and monetary package to fight the deadly coronavirus, Mboweni said the post-COVID-19 labour market policies will have to be supportive and prioritise absorbing the millions of unemployed South Africans.
”We must have a new labour market policy that prioritises South Africans without discriminating,” he said.
Mboweni identified sectors such as hospitality and agriculture in which foreign nationals outnumbered locals.
He said businesses operating in the economy after COVID-19 will need to demonstrate that they have labour market policies that prioritises South Africans.
According to Mboweni, every spaza shop must have a bank account, register with SA Revenue Service and open for inspection to ensure it does not sell expired goods.
Mboweni also warned recipients of the temporary social relief not to expect the grants to continue beyond October.
”These are temporary measures, not permanent measures to support people and in October they will be lifted,” he said.
He said he was certain that people understand that the relief was temporary and will work together with the government.
The government also expects growth enhancing investments to continue including infrastructure spend that draws in the private sector.
”We must ensure that growth enhancing measures continue,” said
Mboweni, adding that work on structural economic reforms must continue.
He dismissed suggestions that the SA Reserve Bank should consider printing the billions of rands required to fund the government’s fight against COVID-19.
”We are not in the business of printing money, that question has not arisen in our minds,” Mboweni said.
He described such talk as ideological and that he was not interested in entertaining it.
On Saturday, the government will present the risk-adjusted approach to easing the national lockdown and start gradually reopening the economy.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said other ministers will expand on economic and social response to the COVID-19 pandemic next week following Ramaphosa’s address on Thursday.