In just four days, all eyes will be on government as it launches the Jobs Summit to tackle the surging levels of unemployment in the country.
High-impact interventions to drive job creation, job retention and economic growth will be the focus of the much anticipated summit, which will take place on 4 and 5 October, 2018.
The summit will bring together government, business, labour and community organisations to advance job creation. It will provide a platform for open discussion on the challenges faced by each social partner in the creation of jobs.
The National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), as the vehicle that brings together government and social partners, said the summit will seek to explore innovative approaches to support public and private enterprise development and procurement to boost the local economy.
Announcing the summit during his 2018 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted that jobs, especially for the youth, will be at the centre of the 2018 national agenda.
The dire jobs situation is reflected in the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa for the second quarter of 2018.
It shows that despite growth in employment of 206 000 jobs during the second quarter, the rate of unemployment was 27.2 percent. Furthermore, the unemployment rate of young people was at 52.4 percent and an absorption rate of only 12.2 percent.
In line with the National Development Plan, government aims to raise employment by 11 million to 24 million by 2030.
The summit comes just two weeks after President Ramaphosa announced an economic stimulus package to revive and boost the economy.
President Ramaphosa said the stimulus package measures provide fertile ground for the upcoming Jobs Summit and the Investment Conference later in October.
“It is better to go into the Jobs Summit armed with interventions that are ready, than to go to a Jobs Summit and theorise. We want to go into the Job Summit and say these are the type of jobs that can be implemented,” said the President at the announcement of the stimulus package.
To ensure the success of the Jobs Summit, government has called on the public and private sector to play their role in capacitating young people and advancing youth employment.