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President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the Jobs Summit during his inaugural state of the Nation Address in February and subsequently requested NEDLAC to convene Social Partners to address the crisis of unemployment and to come up with practical solutions for South Africa’s ailing economy.

Since 2014, economic growth in South Africa has slowed down and become more volatile. At the same time, joblessness and inequality have deepened. These twin burdens remain arguably the main blockages to sustained economic progress.

Mining and formal manufacturing have been particularly hard hit by the slowdown of the past few years, which has worsened South Africa’s high joblessness and inequality. Among countries that report a Gini coefficient, South Africa invariably ranks amongst the top two or three most unequal in the world.

The Social Partners approached these challenges on the basis that there is an urgent need for visible changes in the lives of ordinary South Africans and the economy. Government, business, labour and community leaders have worked collaboratively to identify solutions to job retention and job creation blockages and opportunities that each social partner can work on to stimulate greater participation in the economy.

The Jobs Summit convened on 4 and 5 October 2018 lays the basis for more responsive and effective collaboration to deliver on the promise of a better economy for all South Africans by ensuring that commitments are clear and precise, that they strengthen existing initiatives and develop new ones, and that they take into account the challenges faced by each Social Partner. This includes finding solutions to unlock the bottlenecks identified in job creation, including – where relevant – addressing policy and regulatory uncertainty to unlock inclusive growth and employment.

The Jobs Summit commitment carries with it the recognition by all stakeholder groups that the weaknesses in South Africa’s economy can be addressed only if all social and economic stakeholders work together.

On Thursday, 4 October 2018, all Social Partners formally declared their commitment to the Jobs Summit Accord and Framework Agreement. These commitments include clear statements on the timescale for implementation and envisaged employment impact and a monitoring and evaluation framework that is expected to ensure accountability amongst partners and to the wider community.

The Jobs Summit is part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s drive to build a Social Compact amongst the various stakeholders on what is needed to ensure that the economy grows, becomes more productive and attracts greater investment.

To view the detailed Presidential Jobs Summit Framework Agreement, please click here:

To view the accompanying Annexure, please click here:

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