Govt to reform labour law, BEE

A meeting of the BEE Advisory Council has agreed that those found guilty of “fronting” should be punished, says President Jacob Zuma.
Cape Town – Government will reform labour policies and revisit broad-based black economic empowerment as part of its new push for job creation.

This emerged during an address by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel in Parliament on Tuesday.

Patel said the state will change labour policies to support productivity and improve protection for vulnerable workers. Broad-based black economic empowerment will also be re-examined.

He stressed that job creation will be a priority throughout all spheres of government this year.

Addressing the national council of provinces select committee on the New Growth Path, he said the challenge of job creation would override all departments.

“All government departments will align their programmes with the job creation imperative. The provincial and local spheres have been requested to do the same… with regular reporting on what they are doing to support employment creation and growth,” said Patel.

With the percentage of people employed in South Africa currently at 41.3% and lower than in countries like Egypt, India, Malaysia, Brazil and China, Patel said the government’s new jobs plan was vital.

He said some of the key job drivers were infrastructure, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing and tourism, rural development and new economies like the green economy.

He said the government would step up education and skills development, enterprise development, developmental trade policies with a strong orientation to new growth centres and investment to support African development.

Training would be at the centre of the new growth path. Resources and funding would be drawn from state budgets, universities and science councils, retirement funds, the domestic private sector, international investment, donor funding and financial institutions.

“Each sector must contribute to building the economy,” said Patel.

He said in 2011, there would need to be better planning and improved connections between economic policy departments in provinces, municipalities and national government and regulatory inefficiencies in economic centres must be addressed.

“2011 is a year of job creation. Co-ordination of policy, regulation, planning and implementation across government is critical.

“We must involve communities… social partners like business, labour and civil society, have a crucial role to play,” he said.