EWC a ‘real obstacle’ to agricultural job growth

Staff Writer | Aug 02, 2019
Agricultural body Agri SA said farming could play a bigger role in growing jobs, but was being undermined by policy uncertainty over expropriation without compensation, and poor economic growth.

Agri SA said investor confidence, especially in agriculture, was ‘imperative to get job creation on track’.

The organisation’s deputy executive director Christo van der Rheede said in a statement: ‘The increase in South Africa’s unemployment levels to a record high of 29% indicates that an organised and focused strategy applied by all South Africans is now needed. Agriculture’s employment levels have remained fairly stable compared to other sectors in that only 1 000 jobs have been lost since the first quarter.’

In the same statement, the head of policy at Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Labour and Development, Jahni de Villiers, said: ‘The figures show that agriculture could be the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.’ However, ‘policy uncertainty, like expropriation without compensation, and poor economic growth’ were obstacles to creating jobs in agriculture.

Van der Rheede said Agri SA was involved in various official discussion forums on labour policy – including at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and the National Minimum Wage Commission – and ‘will continue to promote the prioritisation of sustainable job creation in agriculture’.

‘Agriculture can be of great assistance in addressing unemployment, but farmers and agribusinesses urgently require policy certainty and support in order to do so.’


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