20. Februar 2009
Key players agree on SA’s crisis plan
CAPE TOWN — Government, business, labour and community organisations have agreed on a comprehensive plan to deal with the effects of the global economic crisis. Sectors needing targeted interventions will be identified within a month. Yesterday’s adoption of a framework to deal with fallout from the crisis follows President Kgalema Motlanthe’s state of the nation address in which he said that a task team was working on a strategy to deal with the effects on SA.
The government and its social partners have delivered on Motlanthe’s promise that a plan would be agreed on before the end of this month.
Planned public sector infrastructure investment remains the central pillar of the plan, but it promises a new look at how these resources are concentrated and traditional lags in getting plans implemented are eliminated.
The plan includes using the money available in the Sectoral Education and Training Authorities, a national jobs initiative and getting development finance institutions such as the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to be more accommodating in the way they respond to businesses and sectors in distress.
Making the Unemployment Insurance Fund more efficient was also identified as a priority so that those workers who did lose their jobs did not have to wait for months before receiving benefits.
Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said after the meeting of the presidential joint economic working group that the plan provided that the IDC would report within a month on sectors that were under pressure and where there was a high potential for job losses.
“We will then know where to make interventions.” He said that the agreed plan was about a combined effort to limit the effects of the crisis and to provide a plan for making early recovery possible.
A business representative, Anglo American nonexecutive director Bobby Godsell, said the agreement was made in a new spirit of shared sacrifice to save jobs, homes and businesses.
The liquidity of a major employer in the economy, the small-, medium- and micro sector, needed attention, and all the interventions made needed to be done in such a way as to lay the foundation for continued shared growth.
Wyndham Hartley Parliamentary EditorSource: www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx