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In the run-up to the presidential jobs summit, the big question was whether the impact of the commitments that would emerge would accord with the scale of SA’s unemployment crisis. Would it deliver the “extraordinary measures” needed to address the most pressing social crisis? These measures are needed because SA’s unemployment crisis is vast: nearly 10-million adults who want to work cannot find any, and the rate at which jobs are created is so slow that unemployment queues have increased by an average of nearly 900 people every single day over the past 10 years. Worst of all: the number of young people in jobs has declined over the past decade. The main reasons for this are set out in the opening section of the jobs summit agreement. Growth has been too slow; has been capital- and skill-intensive in character; and has failed to create the kinds of jobs needed to absorb the large numbers of job-seekers who received sub-standard education at largely dysfunctional schools. Add to tha...

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