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Black Agenda on Unemployment

Featured Image: Unemployed painters, plumbers and tilers wait outside Builder’s Warehouse in Johannesburg for job opportunities. Photo: Herman Verwey/City Press

By BO Editorial Collective

In the context of building society along black socialist lines CHAPTER 8 of the BLACK AGENDA on unemployment calls for an end to job cuts, prohibition on cheap labour apprenticeships and unpaid internships, and an end to the youth subsidy grant to business.  Please read and let’s engage. Send your questions, comments, feedback, etcetera to the following email address: [email protected]

As at May 10, 2016, the total population in South Africa according to “World Population Review” was 54,674,590.  The black (so called Colored, Indian and African) population constitutes 90 % of the population whereas whites constitute 10% of the said population.  According to the expanded definition of unemployment which includes the job-seekers who have been discouraged from looking for work, officially more than 45% of black people are currently unemployed (in reality much higher) compared to only 5% of white people. Furthermore, whites being only 10% of the economically active population hold in excess of 60% of the top management positions.

While the ANC led government is currently claiming to be tackling unemployment, big business (e.g. the mining and textile industries), are making plans to sack thousands of their employees.

The government has decided to give grants of up to R500 million annually to big business, under the pretext of subsidizing jobs for the youth. The employers will use these government grants to under-pay the youth thereby exploiting them. Also, businesses will make even more profit at the expense of public funds. This will serve to disemploy current workers to make way for other workers who are willing to accede to the bigger, more exploitative demands of big business. Employers will be given free range to hire and fire at their own whim.

What Is To Be Done?

– No job cuts. Full employment through a massive programme of socially useful public works with a living wage of at least R12500.00 per month after deductions and without exemptions. This translates into R78.13  per hour for a 40 hour work week.

– Prohibition of all cheap labour apprenticeships and unpaid internships. A guarantee of at least the minimum wage and a job at the completion of the internship / apprenticeship.

– An end to the youth subsidy grant to business.  The unemployed youth must get a monthly living subsidy  grant whilst they engage in state sponsored skills development and seek employment. Moreover, all young people not perusing tertiary education to be enrolled for national service so as to acquire skills development for national reconstruction.


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