ANDILE KHUMALO: Disruptors needed to unleash the job-creating power of SMMEs

30 June 2019 - 08:02 By

SA's enduring economic crisis was amply crystallised by two figures that were part of the national conversation this week. The first figure, of 2-million, relates to the number of jobs that President Cyril Ramaphosa cited in his state of the nation address as the government's 10-year target to curb the youth unemployment crisis. The second figure - 22,000 - relates to the number of jobs that were added in the past quarter in the non-agricultural sector. While one figure represents a long-term dream that on its own will not solve the problem of unemployment, the second figure represents a sober reflection of the prevailing reality.

For the idea of 2-million additional jobs in 10 years to be a successful endeavour, far too many variables need to work in unison. Mainly, the growth in number of job seekers in that group has to be on par with the opportunities created. Any misalignment there will simply worsen the unemployment crisis. Additionally, the current incumbents - those fortunate to have a job - have to be retained in the system so they do not compete with new entrants to the labour market...

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