Labour DG calls for more efforts to fight unemployment

Employment and Labour Director-General, Thobile Lamati, says officials must redouble efforts to reposition the organisation to lead the war against unemployment.
Speaking at the opening of the Public Employment Services (PES) strategic planning conference, underway in Polokwane, Lamati said the department can no longer focus on counting the number of work seekers registered on their system.
“In redoubling our efforts, we need to focus more on the placement of those that are on our database… Building relationships will serve as a cornerstone if we want to register success in this area,” Lamati said.
The draft National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) and National Employment Policy (NEP), he said, are two pivotal instruments to the changing nature of the South African labour market.
The NLMP, together with the amended Employment Services (ES) Bill, were unveiled in February 2022 to regulate issues of labour migration, while the NEP provides an overarching framework on issues of employment, including the NLMP.
The NLMP and the ES Bill are currently in Parliament before legislators, while the draft NEP has been concluded and submitted to the Presidency for a Socio-Economic Impact Analysis.
The NEP is to undergo an extensive consultation with various departments and other stakeholders before it is tabled before Cabinet.
Lamati said the PES Branch has been leading the formulation of these policies.
“PES is a departmental branch that assists companies and workers to adjust to changing labour market conditions. The branch does this through the provision of employer services and work-seeker services, including the facilitation of subsidies to designated groups special services to promote the employment of persons with disabilities.”
He said the world is facing its greatest crises in recent memory, and South Africa is not exempt, as it has one of the highest unemployment rates and inequality in the world.
“There is a severe unemployment challenge, which exacerbates inequality and poverty. Therefore, as the country, while we focus on elusive high economic growth, we need to urgently roll out employment strategies.
“Central to this effort is the Department of Employment and Labour, more specifically, the Public Employment Services Branch.”
He said the problem of unemployment should be resolved by all concerned.
“It is for this reason that at last week’s strategic planning session, with the senior management of the department, I have called for the establishment of a War Room on Employment.
“We need to accelerate the implementation of our industrial policy… COVID-19, the July unrest and floods in KwaZulu-Natal, have both resulted in increases in unemployment across South Africa and amplified the extent of the inequality, with millions depending on social assistance to support their daily livelihoods,” he said
In further addressing unemployment, Lamati said government has announced a number of measures to help with the recovery of economy and creating the enabling conditions for growth.
“Increasing employment will require strategies that will stimulate growth in sectors with the greatest job creation potential, and be coupled with large scale public employment interventions.
“These strategies also need to take into account the large number of workers that are engaged in the informal sector,” Lamati said.
The two-day conference will end on Friday.

Source: South African Government News Agency