South Africans are very good at talking, so much so that we are pinning our hopes on conversations to tackle the biggest challenges the country faces today. The jobs summit, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, is yet another attempt by the country’s social partners — business, the government, labour and civil society — to rise to the occasion before things reach a point of no return. The gathering of these leaders at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) was necessitated by a frightening unemployment figure of 9.6-million, which has been rising by the day since 2008. Out of a population of 57.7-million (37.8-million adults), only 16.3-million people have jobs. Every day is a struggle for the unemployed, the majority of whom are young people whose dreams of a better life in a democratic SA have been dashed. When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his maiden state of the nation address in February that a jobs summit would be convened to devise a way out of t...

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