Source: Ferial Haffajee, Business Maverick, 16 September 2020, photo credit: DOC Research Institute
Government, business and labour haven’t come up with a single social contract but have kept to their own plans and instead agreed on priorities at Nedlac.
Facing a sovereign debt trap and the possibility of a real unemployment rate of 50%, the government and its partners in business, civil society and labour have agreed on an “action plan” to rescue the economy.
Billed as an “employment-centred growth” plan, the parties have negotiated a concrete set of measures (some new, some old) and many with conclusion dates set only months away. The trade-off for more employment (by the private and public sectors) is that the parties agree to “review employment and empowerment-related policy and legislation”.
The plan will be overseen by a presidential working committee chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Leaders from business, labour and civil society – five-a-side – will meet monthly to make sure it is not reduced to another talk shop.