Shops blame the econ­omy for zero jobs

Sunday Tribune - - METRO - KARINDA JAGMOHAN and KWANDOKUHLE NJOLI

THE shrink­ing econ­omy is the big­gest block to job cre­ation.

That is what man­agers and own­ers at some re­tail stores in Dur­ban told the Sun­day Tri­bune.

In a study of 20 stores, most of those sur­veyed said they would not em­ploy more peo­ple even if the na­tional min­i­mum wage was scrapped or if labour laws were changed to make it eas­ier to dis­miss peo­ple.

The na­tional min­i­mum wage is R3500 per month or R20 per hour.

How­ever, if busi­nesses could in­crease their turnover, they would con­sider hir­ing more staff.

Ac­cord­ing to those sur­veyed, there is no money to hire ad­di­tional staff.

“Ed­u­cate peo­ple, build schools, train youth,” they said.

To boost job cre­ation, shop own­ers called on the gov­ern­ment to in­vest more in small busi­nesses, which would help them to em­ploy more staff.

David Shapiro, an econ­o­mist at Sas­fin Se­cu­ri­ties, said peo­ple needed the dig­nity of hav­ing a job.

How­ever, the un­em­ploy­ment rate is at 27.2% with an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple los­ing their jobs.

Shapiro agreed the gov­ern­ment needed to do more to get the econ­omy mov­ing.

He pointed to gov­ern­ment in­sti­tu­tions as the key play­ers in turn­ing the econ­omy around.

“We need a gov­ern­ment that serves the pop­u­la­tion in­stead of feed­ing off it.

“In or­der to grow our econ­omy and create jobs, sta­ble pil­lars are needed.

“Good in­sti­tu­tions like schools and home af­fairs is where it starts,” he said.

Dawi Roodt at­trib­uted tech­nol­ogy as a huge prob­lem in the coun­try, “the more we move to dig­i­tal and tech­nol­ogy, the more the need for man­ual labour di­min­ishes”.

Roodt said the coun­try did not have enough qual­i­fied and skilled work­ers, be­cause of an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that did not equip its peo­ple.

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