OPINION

Social compact for growth and jobs must make a lasting difference

Cyril Ramaphosa |

25 July 2022

Cyril Ramaphosa says a comprehensive programme will require the mobilisation of all social actors to turn the economy around

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT

25 July 2022

Dear Fellow South African,

Since the advent of democracy, our people and indeed social partners have on many occasions been able to unite around common programmes to address the challenges facing our society.

As South Africans we united around our very first social compact together when we, after broad consultation, crafted our world-renowned constitution that brought the end to the reviled and oppressive system of apartheid.

Over time, social partners have been able to reach important social compacts around job creation, economic growth, Eskom’s restructuring and the global financial crisis, among others. More recently social partners contributed to developing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan as a response to the effects of COVID-19.

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The impact of these pacts has been varied but largely impactful.

We have been facing high levels of joblessness, growing inequality and high levels of poverty over the past two decades. Our economy has not been growing at the pace that could enable us to make a meaningful dent in unemployment, poverty and inequality. To reduce the impact of these triple challenges we need a number of impactful interventions including to attract much more investment and enhance the capability of the state.

To turn our economy around and create the millions of jobs needed is something that cannot be achieved by government alone. A comprehensive programme will require the mobilisation of all social actors. 

With this in mind, I said in this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that we would work with our social partners to finalise a comprehensive social compact to grow the economy, create jobs and combat hunger.