Introduction

Unemployment rates in South Africa have soared at an alarming rate. This has led to many people living below the breadline in abject poverty.

  • Unemployment continues to largely contribute to poverty.
  • Job losses continue to increase at an alarming rate to date, the latest being the possible retrenchment of up to a 1 000 workers in the car manufacturing industry by the end of November 2002.
  • Restructuring, privatisation, lowering of import tariffs and lack of investments continue to contribute to unemployment and poverty in South Africa.
  • No clear strategies have been put in place to fight job losses, unemployment and poverty.

Core principles

  • Job retention and job creation are of the utmost importance to curtail poverty.
  • It is the responsibility of government, trade unions and business to commit themselves to social partnerships to ensure job retention and job creati on.

Procedures

CONSAWU shall:

  • devise strategies for job retention;
  • develop guidelines on how to retain jobs and investigate ways to minimise retrenchments;
  • devise strategies for job creation;
  • engage with government to institute relief programmes such as government social grants for the unemployed and tax incentives for those businesses that increase productivity and create jobs;
  • fight for the tightening of tariffs to protect the local economy;
  • support the introduction of the basic income grant to the poor to cushion them from the devastating effects of poverty;
  • support the fight against privatisation and job losses. Campaigns should be organised to achieve this objective;
  • mobilise business to invest in job creation programmes rather than trading their profits on the stock exchange and investing in foreign countries;
  • fight for the stepping up of skills development programmes for the unemployed to enhance their chances of being employed;
  • campaign for the release of a report on the progress made in the implementation of agreements reached at the presidential job summit in 1998.

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