Retrenchment fever grips South Africa

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South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa:

The South African government has taken to appeals to forestall retrenchment of worker by the private sector which suffers the economic down turn currently ravaging the country.

The panicky government appealed to employers to see retrenchment as the last resort to the economic crisis.

According to APA, the Cabinet again appealed to employers across industries in the country, especially mining and media, to avoid job losses.

“We reiterate our appeal to business to consider retrenchment only as a last resort, and to explore other available and innovative ways to sustain jobs.

“Government continues to partner with business and labour, and remains convinced that working together, we can grow our economy and create new jobs,” Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said at a post-Cabinet media briefing held in Cape Town.

Earlier this month, the retrenchment of 14,000 Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) mineworkers was put on hold for at least two months.

This came after government, Amplats and organised labour reached an agreement to postpone the retrenchment in efforts to identify a solution to avoiding the move.

Prior to this, Amplats had announced that it would retrench about 14,000 workers due to the strikes that resulted in the mining company failing to generating profits.

The tripartite members recommitted to engage constructively for the benefit of all stakeholders and will communicate progress updates as and when appropriate.

On Wednesday, Mokonyane expressed concern at the potential loss of 300 jobs at Afro World View News Channel after MultiChoice South Africa did not renew its contract on Monday.

While noting that these are commercial agreements between private parties, Mokonyane said she was concerned about how young, mostly black people, were affected by this development, as their employment is a source of income for their immediate and extended families.

“We have been informed by MultiChoice SA of their intention to make an announcement on a new 24-hour news channel by Tuesday, 28 August 2018, whose conditions, among others, is to consider the future employability of the no less than 300 workers affected by the Afro World View contractual termination.

“We are pleased that there will be consideration given to these skills and that they will not be lost to the sector,” she said.

On Thursday, the South African reported a Reuters poll of economists predicting that there is a one-in-three chance that South Africa will go into a recession this year.

“The last two quarters of 2018 have been one of the toughest the country’s economy has had to endure. Around 30 economists polled predicted a 1.4% in growth for South Africa’s economy in 2018, following up with 1.9% in 2019.

“Although sluggish, it was still a more positive outlook than the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) expectation of a growth of 1.2%.

“In a monetary policy meeting held in July, SARB reduced its expectation by 0.5 percentage points from what it had put forward in May, a predicted growth of 1.7%.’’


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