[DEBATE] : More spin around jobs
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Wed Dec 10 19:47:07 GMT 2008
[It's virtually impossible to know what's going on in this piss-poor
M&G effort. Could it be that the Darmalingams of this world are
interested in hegemonising a rubric (You follow me?) that would
translate into objective idealism, or TINA for short (i.e. "There is
no alternative")? Still following? In that case I think the workiing
class should pile on the pressure and listen to no excuses, because
the Darmalingam line is pure bluff. There is no possible way that she
can know. Call the bluff, comrades!]
'Virtually impossible' to slash SA unemployment
I-Net Bridge, M&G, Johannesburg, 9 December 2008
All the odds seem to be heavily stacked against South Africa's goal of
halving unemployment by 2014, industry players said late on Tuesday.
Statistics SA's employment statistics for the third quarter showed
that while the jobs tally in the sector rose by 0,4%, or 35 000 jobs,
in the third quarter of 2008, it was slower than the 0,6%, or 40 000
jobs, rise in the second quarter of the year.
While officials and unions argue about the country's exact
unemployment rate, with officials pegging it at 23,3% and unions
putting it at 40%, it remains among the highest in the world.
"It seems virtually impossible to meet government's growth needs of
halving unemployment and poverty by 2014," said Shereen Darmalingam,
an economist at Standard Bank.
In October the African National Congress (ANC) reiterated that it
would slash unemployment by half through the creation of five million
jobs by 2014, as it outlined economic priorities ahead of next year's
But over the past six years, only two million jobs have been added,
translating into roughly 350 000 jobs on average each year.
This is far below estimates of around 500 000 jobs required annually
for the target to be reached.
"The slowdown in job creation gives very little comfort because it
does not take into account mass retrenchments announced in the past
few weeks," said Patrick Craven, spokesperson for the ANC-affiliated
Congress of South African Trade Unions.
As the global economic slowdown hits home, sectors from the mining to
auto industry are reviewing capital expenditure plans, cutting down
production and embarking on mass retrenchments to cut costs.
"The South African labour market is in for a challenging year ahead as
local companies strive to keep their heads above water," said
Underscoring these predictions are the latest surveys by employment
services industry consultants Manpower and auditing firm KPMG, which
both expect difficult times to continue well into 2009.
"Employers are becoming even more cautious in hiring in light of the
current economic climate," said Jan Coetzee, Manpower South Africa
managing director, on Tuesday at the release of the company's
Employment Outlook Survey of local hiring trends.
According to the survey, the net employment outlook for South Africa
has declined by four percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2008
to +13%, the weakest hiring intentions since the survey began in South
Africa in the fourth quarter of 2006.
This net employment outlook figure is derived by taking the percentage
of employers anticipating total employment to increase, and
subtracting from this the percentage expecting to see a decrease in
employment at their location in the next quarter.
Last week a KPMG survey showed that more than a quarter of local
businesses plan to lay off workers as higher interest rates and
slowing economic growth eat into their profits.
"It's going to get worse before gets better," said Jaco Kleynhans,
spokesperson for trade union Solidarity, adding that the official
unemployment rate could hit 25% by the middle of next year.
Solidarity, which disclosed this week that 32 companies are axing 22
000 workers, expects the number to rise drastically with the mining
and auto sectors accounting for the bulk of job losses. -- I-Net
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