Cosatu blames government
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has blamed the South African government for the loss of over 60 000 jobs in the second quarter of this year, saying its failure to make big business accountable has caused this decline.
According to the June 2016 Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey released by Statistics South Africa, the country’s formal sector employment shrank by 67 000 jobs in the second quarter of this year.
Quarterly employment losses were observed in all industries except in electricity and construction industries, the report said.
The Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU) national spokesman Sizwe Pamla told Africa Reporter that the government’s reluctance to bring big business to account for their “investment strike” in people and jobs, had resulted in this “catastrophic result of job losses”.
COSATU are currently in talks with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in an effort to stop thousands of job losses in all industries.
“The formal economy lost 67‚000 jobs in the second quarter — accelerating from the 15‚000 jobs lost in the first quarter. This must signify there is something really wrong,” said Pamla
The most job losses occurred in the community, social and personal services industry, with 48 000 jobs being lost. These numbers are reflective of the temporary jobs that were created by the IEC during the recent local government elections, which usually fall away once the elections are over.
The survey found that the manufacturing industry continued to lose jobs in the quarter ending in June 2016. The industry shed 7 000 jobs from quarter 1 to quarter 2. In total, on a year to year basis 16 000 jobs were lost between June 2015 to June 2016. Most of the job losses were observed in the industries involved in the manufacturing of food products, beverages and tobacco products, resulting in a decline of 5 000 jobs. The manufacturing of textile, clothing and leather goods lost 3 000 jobs.
“We in COSATU believe that the onus is on government to show their hand and bring big business to account. It is precisely the same government policies that allows people to act without restraint,” said Pamla, referring to labour retrenchment policies which provides impetus for employers to shed jobs for “economic reasons”.
Despite the job losses‚ remuneration increased very slightly. Gross earnings paid to employees rose by R32m or 0.01% in the quarter‚ from R523.3bn in March to R523.34bn in June.
Average monthly earnings‚ including bonuses and overtime payments‚ for all industries in the formal nonagricultural sector increased 3.7% from R17‚396 in February 2016 to R18‚045 in May 2016.