Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, says there are plans for mass unemployment measures
THE MINISTER of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, has said that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic recovery plan, to be tabled by the president in Parliament on Thursday, will deal with the rising unemployment in the country.
This comes after Statistics South Africa released its latest figures that showed there were 2.2 million who lost their jobs in the second quarter.
This was at the time when Covid-19 was at its peak, with most businesses closed or shutting down.
Nxesi was answering questions from MPs in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday on Covid-19 relief schemes.
The government, he said, has spent billions in the last six months to cushion the poor.
But MPs were concerned that the additional 2.2 million people joining the unemployed would be a crisis in the country and they wanted to know if Ramaphosa would address this question.
Nxesi said he would not give details, but this would form part of the recovery plan to be unveiled by Ramaphosa in the joint sitting of Parliament.
“The question was asked what are we doing to mitigate the expected large scale retrenchments in the region of two million. This is a question about the national reconstruction and recovery plan, which will be announced by the president on Thursday.
“I can say that the Presidency has consulted fully with all sections of government as well as all partners at Nedlac and indeed all partners; business, labour and community were specifically invited to make proposals,” said Nxesi.
“From my side, I would add that in addition to the stimulus measures there are plans for mass unemployment measures, but let us wait for the president to pronounce on that,” he said.
Nxesi added that Covid-19 had caught the country and the world off guard. They were not prepared and the fight against the virus continues.