Something needs to be done to improve job creation in the private sector, specifically in the manufacturing and mining industries.
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says a lot still needs to be done to absorb job seekers into the labour force.
Patel said while thousands of jobs had been created since the launch of the New Growth Path in 2010, the government continued to work hard to address the economy’s structural challenges.
Patel’s statement comes at the back of the latest job figures by Stats SA, which puts the number of unemployed at 4.6-million in the first quarter of 2013.
150 000 jobs created in the public sector
“We are making quite significant progress as in one year, we have created nearly 200 000 new jobs.
“The bulk of these jobs are in the public sector and now we need to do the difficult part – which is trying to improve job creation in the private sector, particularly in the manufacturing and mining sector,” he said.
Patel said ever since the launch of the New Growth Path in 2010, the economy had grown and created new jobs. About 44 000 were created in the first quarter of 2013, he added.
150 000 people were currently employed in various projects around the country. This included 15 000 people at the Medupi Power Plant in Limpopo and 12 700 at the Kusile Coal-Fired Power Station in Mpumalanga, amongst others.
He said more jobs were expected to be created.
Asked about the decline of jobs in the trade and retail sectors of the economy, Patel said that the focus should be shifted towards the productive sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, mining and tourism, in order to steer the economy from a consumption-heavy focus to the productive and sustainable labour-creating sectors.