We need a fresh government, one that will bolster employment

Michael Bagraim, from Bagraim's Attorneys. His column is titled Love thy labour and appears every Wednesday in the Cape Argus. Photographer - Tracey Adams

Michael Bagraim, from Bagraim's Attorneys. His column is titled Love thy labour and appears every Wednesday in the Cape Argus. Photographer - Tracey Adams

Published Dec 10, 2023


We need a fresh government to grow employment. On the other hand, a rotten ANC-run system will try to create the sense that it is the government that creates jobs.

The archaic socialist myopic viewpoint has been tried for more than 30 years, and it has been a dismal failure. We go downhill every quarterly review and we have all been a witness to the nightmare of joblessness.

Each time the Department of Employment and Labour hatches another failure, it throws more money at unbelievably ridiculous schemes. The schemes are merely a way to help the few successful, well-connected politicians who run them. It is up to us, citizens, to keep a watch over the department to ensure we put a stop to future schemes of this nature.

It certainly does not help to throw money at a government to create jobs. If one does the maths, it costs hundreds of thousands of rand for each job. They last a mere three months and the individuals receive no training.

The job schemes are merely an election ploy to report that there is some sort of job creation. Few of the recipients of these costly jobs have been able to enter sustainable employment.

The most important issue in South Africa today is job creation. A new government will have to focus on this task and we need to look at where jobs are being created. It would be fantastic if every province could follow the Western Cape’s guidelines.

The governing party, the ANC, has done everything it can to destroy the economic environment and job creation. Its executive know full well that what they are doing is wrong. They want us to believe otherwise. It was Mark Twain who said: “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” This is indicative of an ANC government. We need a fresh government intending to create more jobs.

It must also be borne in mind that as we move into a more complicated and structured employment environment, we have not, in any way, geared our education system to meet the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the advent of computerised intelligence.

Systems such as ChatGPT and many others being developed will create many more holes in the economy. We know that maths, computer science and coding are lacking in our system.

Above this, our archaic labour laws and regulations are desperately trying to outlaw A-typical employment.

Wherever we go in the world, we see individuals holding down various jobs or working for themselves.

Wherever we go in Europe or America, we hear of individuals who have taken on a “side hustle”. People in the more advanced economies are making themselves employable by upskilling themselves and structuring their productivity to suit employers and third parties.

The gig economy has also grown in leaps and bounds. None of the types of atypical employment are being recognised by our labour law. Our labour law is doing everything to try to stymie this type of work. Year in and year out, I see our Department of Employment and Labour trying to close what it believes are loopholes in the definition of employment. The loopholes are not loopholes but innovations to try to make people more employable.

But no, our ANC-led government is languishing in its definition of employment from the beginning of the century. We are talking about comrades and trade unions being the groupings that want to define how we must structure employment. This archaic way of thinking needs to be thrown into the dustbin of history.

* Michael Bagraim.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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