Zuma: Only half the jobs promised have been created, but we’re working on it

President Jacob Zuma has admitted that government has so far failed in creating the jobs he had promised, but said a new, longer-term target had been set.

Zuma promised in 2011 that government would create 5 million jobs over 10 years, which meant creating half a million jobs every year between 2010 and 2020. But three years later only half of the envisaged 1.5 million jobs have been created.

“This has not happened thus far, as the world economy has not fully recovered from the global financial crisis,” he told the National Council of Provinces this afternoon during question time. He said these were out of the control of government.

“As a result, the demand for South African products by our key trading partners is lower. Firms are not confident that if they invest in new factories they will be able to sell their products. Some industries have not been producing at sufficient levels because of industrial relations disputes.”

He added that there was hope of recovery. “Consumers are not spending much as well due to tougher economic conditions. However, the signs of recovery in the United States and other trading partners give signs of hope,” he said.

The jobs promise was set out in the New Growth Path, which was adopted by government in 2010. The National Development Plan, which was adopted this year, instead calls for the creation of 11 million new jobs by 2030.

He said these don’t just include government creating jobs within the public service, “but total jobs that could be created in the economy, including jobs by the private sector”.

He said government supported job creation by promoting a competitive economy overall.

The 750 000 jobs created so far happened as follows:

» Just under half of the new jobs have been generated in community and social services, mostly because more health workers, teachers and police members have been employed;

» Most of the remaining jobs were generated in business services;

» Agriculture created 70 000 jobs, the largest expansion in this sector in four decades;

» Manufacturing saw an increase of 22 000 jobs; and

» Mining jobs increased by 9 000.

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