President Cyril Ramaphosa officially closes the Jobs Summit at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. Picture: SIYABULELA DUDA (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa officially closes the Jobs Summit at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. Picture: SIYABULELA DUDA (GCIS)

The outcomes of the two-day jobs summit that ended on Friday are building blocks for the upcoming investment summit, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said investors had been eager to see what would emerge from the gathering that produced more than 70 interventions to deal with SA’s unemployment crisis.

“A number of people ... wanted to hear the outcomes of the jobs summit, they wanted to hear that South Africans [are] meeting on their own, as social partners, are able to come up with real meaningful decisions where they commit themselves,” Ramaphosa said during his closing address at the summit on Friday.

He said the government expected mostly local business people at the investment summit, to be held in two weeks.

Ramaphosa’s administration wants to raise R1.3-trillion in five years.

He said the interventions from the jobs summit would inspire confidence and trust in the business community.

“We are going to that investment summit informing them that we have come up with more than 70 interventions that we are going to embark on to create jobs, strengthen the economy and lead our economy towards the recovery path. This summit has been a most important process that we have embarked on,” he said.

Government, business, labour and community constituencies signed an agreement on Thursday, paving the way for initiatives meant to boost the economy and create jobs.

The new interventions that form part of the 80-page agreement include: a commitment by large corporations and government to buy local products; a more aggressive approach to increasing exports; interventions in agricultural value chains, especially fruit, grain and livestock; and support for small and medium enterprises.

Other interventions that have been under way for some time in sectors such as automotive, furniture, and metals and machinery, as well as already announced financing initiatives for black industrialists and farmers and agribusiness, are included in the agreement.

The government also committed to continuing support for its distressed firm fund, housed at the Industrial Development Corporation, and to review the training lay-off scheme, through which retrenched workers are able to access funds for retraining.

The Employment Tax Incentive scheme, which provides employers with tax breaks for hiring first-time, low-paid youth, is to be extended for another 10 years.

mahlakoanat@businesslive.co.za