The release of jobs statistics today which show a sharp decline in employment in the manufacturing sector is a sign that the ANC government’s continued indecision on the National Development Plan is having serious consequences for South Africa, and especially for the poor.
Today, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) released data on South Africa’s mining and manufacturing sectors since 2009, which highlighted the impact of strike action on the economy.
In the first quarter of 2014, manufacturing employment shrank by 4.4%, and between September 2006 and March 2014, 188 000 South Africans employed in the manufacturing sector lost their jobs – a 14% decrease.
The fact is that government’s muddling and contradictory approach to the National Development Plan has contributed to this decline.
There has been little urgency in seeking a speedy resolution to labour unrest, and government leaders have not moved to reassure the investor community. Indeed, government’s indecision, and often contradictory actions have only undermined the investment case for South Africa.
We believe that South Africa has the potential to do much better – with decisive leadership, the right policy mix and a government committed to job creating inclusive economic growth, we can grow manufacturing employment and turn the economy around.
The DA would make four key interventions to reverse the decline and get our economy growing:
Provide political leadership and restore investor certainty by speaking with one voice on the economy and implementing one plan
Boost trade with the rest of Africa through trade-focused diplomacy and cutting the costs of trading across borders
Make it easier for South Africans to start and grow their own businesses by cutting red tape and providing more support for entrepreneurs
Invest 10% of GDP in infrastructure to reduce the cost of doing business.
The ANC is failing the poor, and the longer it dithers on fully implementing the National Development Plan, the worse the economy will get.
Geordin Hill Lewis, Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry
Source : Democratic Alliance