Though the stage was set for finance minister Tito Mboweni to delve deeper into the government’s plans to create 275,000 jobs yearly during his maiden budget speech, he provided not a single detail. President Cyril Ramaphosa promised during his state of the nation address this month that his administration would tackle unemployment by stimulating inclusive economic growth to enable the creation of jobs. The 275,000 jobs figure was agreed on by social partners, including business and labour, at the jobs summit in October 2018. Close to 10-million South Africans are unemployed, according to the expanded definition of unemployment that includes people who have stopped looking for work. Trade union federations staged protests across SA in the lead-up to the budget, pleading with the government to announce radical interventions that would see more people active in the labour market. However, Mboweni played it safe, mentioning only the job-creation schemes that are already in the pipeline...

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