There is widespread cynicism about how much the presidential jobs summit this week will help SA’s unemployment crisis. The meeting on Thursday and Friday will bring together business, labour and the government to discuss "collaborative and high-impact interventions to drive job creation, job retention and economic growth", seeking a way out of poverty for the 9.6-million South Africans who are unemployed. Understandably, analysts and economists have adopted a wait-and-see approach, questioning the timing of the summit and asking what previous gatherings of the kind have achieved. The summit has been a long time in the making. It was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his maiden state of the nation address in February, but trade union federation Cosatu has been calling for such a gathering since former president Jacob Zuma took office in 2009. It now comes just a few months before next year’s elections, when the ANC will need Cosatu’s support to clinch victory. Labour cons...

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