Unemployment and child allowances
I’M SURE EVERY reasonable person supports the programmes to reduce unemployment and create jobs, though we’ll certainly differ about the best way of doing so. On the other hand, Cosatu wants to arrange strikes to negotiate better remuneration for workers who already have jobs. This action will inevitably have a negative effect on job creation and result in fewer jobs. I’m not trying to support the huge differences between the salaries of workers and executives and, in a country like SA, managers at all levels have a responsibility to be reasonable.
We know job creation and the improvement of salaries are both important – and both must be addressed. But the question is: Which action must be given preference? My feeling is the emphasis must be placed on job creation, which will at least allow people to survive and also provide training.
However, that brings me to a point I’d like to make: restricting the growth of families when people don’t have the means to support their children. Family planning will certainly not solve the current unemployment problem, but it will help to improve things in the future.
The problem of unemployment is aggravated by child allowances (or perhaps it’s created by these allowances). We’re all concerned about the suffering and care of children but is the suffering not perhaps caused by those allowances?
My proposal is an allowance and training must be made available to unemployed people who can prove they have no children – or, at most, one child – and child allowances must be bigger and more attractive. At the same time, child allowances must be phased out. I feel that would address the problem.
Family planning (or whatever it may be called) is the foundation for solving the problem of unemployment and subsequently better wages will happen automatically, because the demand for labour will exceed the supply.