Mr N Singh (IFP) to ask the Minister of Economic Development:
Whether any progress has been made regarding the creation of jobs, with specific reference to the New Growth Path plan; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
In the twelve months up to end June this year, 64 000 new jobs were created. In the nine month period since the release of the NGP document, namely from the end of the third quarter of last year, 150 000 new jobs were created. This information is obtained from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of Stats SA.
After seven consecutive quarters of ‘year-on-year’ job losses, we have now had two quarters of consecutive year-on-year growth.
Using the period since 1 October 2010 as the starting point, the analysis of jobs in the economy show some significant trends.
First, the size of the total labour force – which is the measure of the total number of employed and unemployed persons – grew significantly in the first two quarters of this year, by about 200 000 persons each quarter, after dropping in every quarter of last year.
Second, the formal sector grew by 155 000 persons, the informal sector grew by 41 000 persons but agriculture declined by 42 000 workers. The number of domestic workers remained this period.
Third, the pace of job growth has slowed down in the recent quarter and we lost jobs in manufacturing, mining and agriculture in the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year.
Over the period since the release of the NGP, a number of key steps have been taken by government to address the challenge of jobs. They include measures in agriculture and agro-processing, in the mining industry, in manufacturing and in the green economy. Infrastructure spending has been a key part of our efforts to step up the pace of job creation. Government also launched a major effort to improve African regional integration, with the launch of the negotiations for a Free Trade Area involving 26 countries with 600 million people, stretching from Cape Town to Cairo.
A number of budget and other measures were announced to mobilize the resources for focused job creation efforts.
The recent Cabinet Lekgotla, attended by all nine Premiers and SALGA representatives adopted 12 Action Plans to ensure that we prioritise measures to expand public and private sector investment.
In agriculture and agro-processing
A number of large agro-processing projects have been announced, including a seed-crushing plant in Mpumalanga which will create up to 4 000 job opportunities in agriculture and a chicken-farming project in the Free State with an employment of about 800 persons
The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) is being implemented in 65 sites, the rural youth employment programme (NARYSEC) has created 7500 employment opportunities and the national and provincial agricultural departments are supporting over 100 000 smallholders a year.
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has set up a R7,7 billion fund for investments in the agricultural value chain over the next five years and an additional programme to support agro-processing expansion, with a R250 million allocation, will start this year.
In mining and beneficiation
The new licensing system is in place to provide greater transparency and accountability.
Cabinet has adopted the beneficiation strategy that lays the basis for practical steps to increase domestic value added and jobs based on South Africa’s rich mining resources.
Cabinet approved establishment of the state-owned mining company.
Government has identified options for moderating iron and steel prices. A pre-feasibility study for the setting up of a new steel mill has been completed.
The IDC has set-aside R22 billion for mining and beneficiation investments.
The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), together with stakeholders, has identified key constraints on growth.
The DTI estimates that its programmes created almost 60 000 jobs through March 2011, with notable progress around auto, clothing and capital goods production as well as cross-cutting measures like local procurement and industrial financing.
The IDC has committed to make available R21 billion for industrial funding of key manufacturing investments in order to drive industrial development
The new support programme for the motor industry laid the basis for R14 billion in new investment plans.
Continued implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) fostered expanded investment, production and employment in a number of other manufacturing sectors.
In the green economy
The IDC set aside R22,4 billion for green projects in the next five years.
The new national electricity plan (IRP2) provides for more than one-third of new energy generation to be through renewable energy, mainly solar, wind and biomass.
Eskom, the IDC and their partners managed the subsidised rollout of 125 000 solar water geysers, with a target of reaching a million.
The environmental employment schemes – Working for Water, Working for Land – provide over 30 000 full-time equivalents and expect to rise to almost 60 000 in 2012.
Eskom launched a pilot project at the Majuba Power Station for the underground gasification of coal, to produce 3 megawatts of energy.