Achievements and Challenges: Employment

African National Congress supporters during the recent ANC Election manifesto launch in Durban. EFE-EPA/Kim Ludbrook

The people shall share in the country’s wealth!

Despite significant progress in changing our economy to benefit our people; unemployment, poverty and inequality remain serious challenges. Decent work is the foundation of the fight against poverty and inequality and its promotion should be the cornerstone of all our efforts. Decent work embraces both the need for more jobs and for better quality jobs. The creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods will be central to the ANC government’s agenda. The ANC government will:

  • Make the creation of decent work opportunities and sustainable livelihoods, the primary focus of our economic policies. We will make maximum use of all the means at the disposal of the ANC government, to achieve this. This objective should be reflected in the orientation and programme of development finance institutions and regulatory bodies, through government procurement and public incentive rules, in industrial, trade, competition, labour market and other policies.
  • Ensure that macro-economic policy is informed by the priorities that have been set out in this Manifesto. Fiscal and monetary policy mandates including management of interest rates and exchange rates, need to actively promote creation of decent employment, economic growth, broad-based industrialisation, reduced income inequality and other developmental imperatives. Economic policy will include measures to decisively address obstacles that limit the pace of employment creation and poverty eradication, and will intervene in favour of more sustainable and inclusive growth for all South Africans.
  • Ensure that state-led industrial policy leads to the transformation of the economy. Adequate resources will be provided to strengthen the state-led industrial policy programme, which directs public and private investment to support decent work outcomes, including employment creation and broad economic transformation. The programme will target labour-intensive production sectors and encourage activities that have high employment effects. It will include systematic support for co-operatives by way of a dedicated support institution and small business development; supporting investment in productive sectors; and working together with our partners in Southern Africa to invest in our regional economy.
  • Implement special sector programmes embracing industrial, trade and other measures backed by adequate resources This will include the strengthening of the manufacturing mining and other vulnerable sectors, and tide them through the period of the global economic crisis, saving and growing jobs in the clothing and textile sector, strengthening the automobile and components sector, expanding the food industry and other sectors.
  • Ensure that a comprehensive package of measures is introduced to promote beneficiation programmes, to ensure that the natural wealth of the country is shared, and developed locally, and accelerates the creation of decent work opportunities in manufacturing and services.
  • Engage the private financial sector in order to facilitate its transformation and diversification including the development of the co-operative financial institutions as well as ensuring that the sector contributes to investment and developmental priorities of the country.
  • Develop programmes to promote the important role of mining and agriculture in employment, meeting basic needs and community development, and commit to continued transformation of these sectors to achieve national goals. Furthermore, government will ensure meaningful benefits for communities who gave up their land for mining activities.
  • Tourism and other services will be supported to expand work for our people.
  • Develop and invest in a programme to create large numbers of ‘green jobs’, namely employment in industries and facilities that are designed to mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Ensure that the mandates of development finance institutions are clear and truly developmental and that their programmes contribute to decent work outcomes, achievement of our developmental needs and sustainable livelihoods.
  • Lead a massive public investment programme for growth and employment creation. In the period ahead, government will accelerate and expand its investment in public infrastructure. This will include expanding and improving the rail networks, public transport, and port operations, dams, housing construction, information and communications technology and energy generation capacity as well as education and health infrastructure, and in the process create additional decent work opportunities whilst meeting the basic needs of the society.
  • Step up a massive programme on expanded public works linked to infrastructure and meeting social needs with home-based care, crèches, school cleaning and renovation, community gardens, removal of alien vegetation, tree planting and school feeding.
  • In order to avoid exploitation of workers and ensure decent work for all workers as well as to protect the employment relationship, introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and out-sourcing, address the problem of labour broking and prohibit certain abusive practices. Provisions will be introduced to facilitate unionisation of workers and conclusion of sectoral collective agreements to cover vulnerable workers in these different legal relationships and ensure the right to permanent employment for affected workers. Procurement policies and public incentives will include requirements to promote decent work.
  • Create an environment for more labour-intensive production methods, procurement policies that support local jobs and building public-private partnerships.
  • Vigorously implement broad-based economic empowerment and affirmative action policies and adjust them to ensure that they benefit more broad sections of our people, especially the workers, youth, women and people with disabilities. Policies will, in addition, actively promote skills development and equity at the workplace.
  • Launch a much larger national youth service programme and a new national youth development agency, focusing on access to funding and employment creation, which will be linked to skills development opportunities and build decent work opportunities for young people.

Staff ANC

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