Letter: Government opposes employers - Businesslive

1 November 2019 - To adapt the words of renowned economist Ricardo Hausmann, SA’s problem is not the jobs that exist, but those that do not exist. Until government realises this and starts incentivising employers (and potential employers) to create jobs, we can only expect our distressing unemployment situation to get worse.

The release of the latest quarterly labour-force survey provides, unsurprisingly, little to celebrate in respect of unemployment. That this most crucial indicator has seen a further deterioration, despite the rhetoric about the need for an economic turnaround, should set off alarm bells. Some sort of change in direction is needed, indeed long overdue.

It is interesting to note that a mere week ago the minister of employment and labour said government could defeat unemployment, but could not do this alone, and that his department was “[changing] the approach from mere compliance enforcement to facilitating job creation”.

This is profoundly ironic, for he has also pledged harsher enforcement of government’s affirmative action demands. Not only does this add to the burden of employing people, it reinforces (with justification) the sense that government sees business and employers as an obdurate opponent, to be brought into line. All around it is a formula to aggravate an already dire situation.

To adapt the words of renowned economist Ricardo Hausmann, SA’s problem is not the jobs that exist, but those that do not exist. Until government realises this and starts incentivising employers (and potential employers) to create jobs, we can only expect our distressing unemployment situation to get worse.

Terence Corrigan, Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2019-10-31-letter-government-opposes-employers/

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