ANC declares unemployment a national crisis

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule told members of the media that the ruling party plans a drive to create jobs.
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule told members of the media that the ruling party plans a drive to create jobs.
Image: ALON SKUY

The ANC has declared unemployment a national crisis that needs urgent attention.

Speaking to reporters at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg on Tuesday after a three-day meeting, secretary-general Ace Magashule said the national executive committee (NEC) Lekgotla resolved to embark on massive job creation.

“About 10-million South Africans are unemployed. Lekgotla agreed to reduce unemployment from 26% to 14% in the next five years, whilst focusing on skilling and reskilling programmes to 3.5-million South Africans,” said Magashule.

The party’s stance comes hours after Statistics SA revealed that gross domestic product shrunk in the last quarter by 3.2% which is likely to worsen unemployment. The SA's unemployment rate currently sits at 27.1%.

The NEC Lekgotla said to address thes challenge, this would be achieved on the back of an industrial strategy, jobs summit initiatives, Operation Phakisa and private-public growth initiatives.

Sectors that will be targeted include automotives, textile and footwear, chemicals, steel and metals among others.

According to Magashule, the Lekgotla identified seven areas for implementation from 2019-2025, which forms the foundation of the party’s manifesto.

“The focus of the sixth administration is on accelerated implementation, working with all South Africans. Each of these seven areas has apex priorities towards which energy and resources shall be directed, and around which we shall build social compass with all stakeholders,” Magashule said.

The ANC Lekgotla also resolved that the government will support strategic economic zones with a focus on unblocking economic potential of each zone and therefore creating sustainable jobs.

Furthermore, it revolved to “explore the adoption of an employment policy, particularly in low-skill areas”.

The areas for implementation over the next five years are:

  • Transforming the economy to serve all South Africans and create jobs;
  • Investing in the capabilities of all people through education and skills revolution and health;
  • Advancing social transformation through the strengthening of the social wage;
  • Tackle the persistence of apartheid spacial development to build sustainable and safe human settlements, towns and rural areas and effective local government;
  • Advancing nation-building and social vibration and a safe South Africa for all;
  • Build a better Africa and world;
  • Renewing and building a capable, honest developmental state and a social impact.
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