Upcoming jobs summit to attract investment, tackle poverty

Deputy President David Mabuza says the up and coming jobs summit will ensure that South Africa continues to address the country's poverty and income inequality.

The Deputy President said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The summit will elevate the efforts focused on inclusive growth and correcting the issue of wage differentials.

Further to this summit and the investment conference, we will continue to embark on a drive to attract investment into our economy, he said.

SA on track to create 6 million jobs by 2019

Addressing Members of Parliament during his question and answer session, Mabuza said government was on track to creating six million jobs by 2019.

He said that in the first five years of the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), or the period between 2004 and 2009, a target of 1 million work opportunities was set in the infrastructure, environment, social and economic sectors.

This target was exceeded with a total of 1.6 million job opportunities being created by 2009. Further up-scaling of EPWP has resulted in more than 3 million work opportunities being created between 2009 and the end of March 2013.

We are currently on track in achieving our target for the third phase of the EPWP (2014-2019), he said.

Land reform key in addressing poverty, inequality

The Deputy President said, meanwhile, that the redistribution of assets has been an important component of the country's approach to addressing poverty and inequality.

He said key among these was land reform, which is at the heart of addressing inequality, poverty and restoration of dignity.

Government realises that the National Minimum Wage Bill is one of the greatest contributors to poverty alleviation and reduction of income inequality. We have also introduced various government incentives to support entrepreneurship under the Department of Small Business Development.

Industrialising the economy to create more jobs

The Deputy President said the most sustainable way to address the challenge of poverty and inequality lies at the heart of industrialising the economy in order to enhance greater levels of participation by historically disadvantaged economic citizens and marginalised regions of the country.

In this regard, government has made significant progress in directing strategic investments towards targeted areas in order to support economic growth and job creation, Mabuza said.

He said the Special Economic Zone Programme was specifically developed to promote the creation of a regionally diversified industrial economy by establishing new industrial hubs in underdeveloped regions of the country.

The number of operational investors in designated SEZs has increased from 72 to 80, with an investment value of over R10 billion. The number of direct jobs created to date is 13 722.

The number of secured or signed investors is 86, with a total investment value of R52.2 billion.

Source: South African Government News Agency