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Boitumelo Kgobotlo | 9 July 2024

The Minister of Employment and Labour, Nomakhosazana Meth, has promised that she will dedicate her tenure to creating 2.5-million job opportunities.

These include permanent and fixed-term contracts, depending on the employer and partners for the projects.

Meth said the country was faced with high rates of unemployment and that citizens did not only need hope but effective change that would secure a better future for all.

Meet-and-greet meeting

Meth spoke at a meet-and-greet ministerial committee meeting that included heads of departmental funds like the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Compensation Fund.

The two entities are meant to function at their best in the seventh administration to provide social security and basic services. The department also aims to ensure that all companies respect the national minimum wage.

“The scourge of unemployment remains a huge hurdle that the country is facing. The Quarterly Labour Force Survey for quarter one of 2024 indicates that the official unemployment rate is standing at 32.9% while the expanded unemployment rate is at 41.9%,” said Meth.

“The picture becomes dire when it comes to the youth unemployment rate, with youth aged 15–24 years standing at 59.7% and youth aged 25–34 years standing at 40.7%.

“These statistics should remind us that the stakes are still high, and we must hasten to strengthen the implementation of interventions to reduce the unemployment rate.”

Six priorities

Meth set out six priorities for the department, which she said would be possible to achieve through an intensive and collaborative mechanism that would drive everyone to always put the department’s objectives upfront.

The priorities included building industries for an inclusive economy, tackling the high cost of living, investing in people, defending democracy, advancing freedom, and bettering Africa and the world.

“Ours in the seventh administration is to ensure that we shift gears and embrace the principles brought about by the government of national unity.

“I require active and impactful participation in the district development model, as that will continue to expand our reach as the Department of Employment and Labour.

“Our role at the International Labour Organisation cannot be emphasised enough, as it is a vehicle for building a better Africa and the world.”

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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