President Cyril Ramaphosa, business, labour and community leaders on Thursday signed a framework agreement at the Jobs Summit in Midrand which aims to create 275 000 jobs every year for the next five years.
The deal, ironed out over several months of negotiations, includes a promise by government that it will not cut any jobs in the public sector and will fill all critical vacancies, while private sector representatives committed to do “everything possible” to avoid job losses.
Fin24 looks at some of the plans included in the agreement which Ramaphosa hopes will help cut SA’s unemployment rate of 27.2%.
The financial sector, as part of its transformation code, has committed R100bn over the next five years to support black enterprises and firms within the industrial sector. The Financial Sector Transformation Council and the Department of Trade and Industry are set to develop guidelines for the distribution of the funds.
“Government will work with the financial sector to develop facilities for financing at preferential rates and extended repayment terms,” said Ramaphosa. The fund will commence once the guidelines have been finalised.
Business bodies committed to working with government to increase local procurement. Meetings with some 500 corporates will be held in the next year about this.
A number of companies have already committed to making local procurement strategies part of their integrated plans, including Anglo Gold Ashanti, Coca Cola SA, Nando’s, Sasol and Standard Bank.
Growing SA exports
The partners committed to addressing the lack of detailed knowledge about export markets. The agreement also promised to address the lack of a seamless transport network to SA’s ports, inefficiencies at sea transport hubs and delays in customs clearance, all which hamper SA exports.
Financial support for land reform
AgBiz and the Banking Association of SA have developed a blended finance model to make additional funds available to help beneficiaries of land reform access capital. According to the proposal commercial farmers will partner with potential beneficiaries and approach commercial banks to obtain 50% of the required funding for a land reform project, which will be matched by 50% from a grant allocation committee.
The government committed to finalising a scrap metal export tax to ensure scrap metal products remain in SA to create value for local industry. It also hopes this will prevent theft of infrastructure such as electricity copper cables.
The automotive sector, meanwhile, is currently drawing up a master plan which will increase local content SA assembled vehicles to 60%.
The Jobs Summit agreed that business and government will urgently come up with measures to address recurrent electricity outages in several municipalities which have been harming local economies.
The state will also release 7 400 hectares of state-owned land for mixed-use developments. There are currently 48 “catalytic” projects being developed, which will provide 635 00 housing opportunities across the country by 2019.
Business bodies committed to develop stricter measures to combat corruption and support government’s anti-graft strategies. This intervention would include the introduction of financial disclosures for government employees. An anti-corruption communication campaign, meanwhile, would name people found guilty of corrupt activities.
Education and skills
The agreement includes a plan to improve the employment opportunities of school leavers through training at TVET colleges, with a particular focus on technical skills needed in the automotive, construction and hospitality sectors. Companies will be encouraged to form partnerships with colleges located in their geographic area.
Payment of small businesses
Businesses are encouraged to pay small businesses within the stipulated 30-day period. Small businesses will also benefit from a R1.5bn Township Enterprise Fund between the end of 2018 and March 2020.