Implementation key to unlocking 275 000 jobs

Presidential Jobs Committee

So just how will implementation – which is championed as the real win of the agreement be rolled out?

Enter the Presidential Jobs Committee. The committee will serve as the implementation arm of the framework agreement.

A quarterly report detailing progress on the implementation of the action plans will form part of the committee’s work. In addition, the committee will take remedial action where required.

While the committee will provide oversight and monitor progress, Matshego emphasised that implementation must take place at the heart of service delivery points.

“National and provincial governments are where delivery takes place, the top guys have to crack the whip but it’s the foot soldiers that ensure implementation. The President and Ministers can talk all their want about policies and plans but government officials have to get down to business and do their work,” he says.

While the framework agreement does not expressly state that the job creation efforts are about creating temporary or permanent jobs, Matshego says while temporary jobs assist in alleviating the strain, it is permanent jobs in the formal sector that will directly address the staggering 27.2% unemployment rate.

“It is temporary jobs through programmes such as the Expanded Public Works Programme that create jobs to a certain extent, especially when you travel and see people at work in the rural areas where we don’t have industrial jobs,” he says.

Matshego argued that to fully realise an improvement in unemployment, the formal sector must be bolstered.

“When we create jobs in the formal sector, we create steady jobs that allow people to spend and even create other jobs.

“Once we create formal jobs we will be halfway to tackling unemployment because it has such a great knock on effect,” says Matshego.

With new entrants into the labour market every year, Matshego says the set target of 275 000 direct jobs per year is a drop in the ocean but provides a stepping stone for greater change.

“If we are being honest, the target number of 275 000 direct jobs per year is a drop in the ocean especially if one considers that the labour market expands every year with new entrants, but it is a good start to ensure we gain momentum,” he says.

And on when the agreement will begin to bear fruit, Matshego says it is important that people note that job creation is a process.

“It is not going to happen in the next few months, next year or in the next five years - because job creation is an accumulative process but the work starts now and we have to start somewhere,” says Matshego. –