Government does not create jobs – South Africa’s President

During his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at Cape Town City Hall on Thursday evening, 10 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa criticized the state of economic growth and investment in South Africa.
According to Ramaphosa, companies create jobs, not the government. To back up his claim, he stated that the private sector employs roughly 80% of South Africa’s workforce.

“We all know that government does not create jobs – business creates jobs.”

This line in the SONA speech was met with scattered applause but the most noticeable reaction came from disgruntled Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members.
The President said it is the duty of the government to create a conducive environment that will enable privately-owned businesses – both small and large – to grow and access new markets and hire new employees.
Ramaphosa said the problems with the country’s economy are deep and “also structural.” He listed the unreliable electricity supply,  the struggling port and rail network and expensive broadband as detrimental factors.
He also referred to the unemployment rate, which hit an all-time high in 2021. Ramaphosa blamed the increase in unemployed people on a long-term decline in investment in the South African economy.
“Low economic growth and investment in the country, as well as unreliable electricity supply, have heightened the unemployment statistics,” said Ramaphosa.
When the Quarterly Labour Force Survey Quarter 2 results were announced in August 2021, it was widely reported that South Africa had the highest unemployment rate in the world at 34,4 percent
The Q3 results, which were released in November 2021, saw the unemployment rate increase by 0,5 percent to 34,9 percent – the highest it has ever been.

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