SA HR news roundup: Billions for job creation, finance minister not party to salary dispute

Government sets aside billions for employment stimulus plan.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana files an affidavit in the High Court distancing himself from the Public Service Association salary dispute.

The National Treasury plans to set aside R11 billion to stimulate employment, with a specific allocation for youth employment, while the Industrial Development Corporation says post-unrest business recovery funding will sustain over 20,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the Numsa worker strike in the automobile sector continues.

Automobile workers in Gqeberha continue strike
About 85 percent of workers at the First Automobile Works (FAW) in Gqeberha, continue to strike.

The workers, who are members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) are demanding a wage increase of R40 per hour, backdated to September 2020. Most workers currently earn R39 per hour, reports GroundUp.

FAW assembles motor vehicles from new components imported from China, with the capacity to build 5,000 vehicles per year, 60 percent of which are exported, according to CCMA papers.

R11 billion for employment stimulus programme
The National Treasury will allocate R11 billion to the second phase of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES), with almost R1 billion being directed to the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “Unemployment in our country is a crisis. We cannot afford endless delays in addressing this problem because of bureaucratic red-tape, outdated recruitment processes, lack of capacity and planning, or programmes that are short-lived or unsustainable.”

He said as part of the intervention, several young people would be recruited into a revitalised National Youth Service and would receive training in digital skills, while youth-owned enterprises would receive support to expand and employ.

Post-unrest funds to sustain 22,493 jobs
The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) says approvals for post-unrest business recovery funding have surpassed R1 billion and will sustain 22,493 jobs.

The agency said the fund was established to help affected businesses in a variety of sectors, including retail, manufacturing and agricultural, recover and rebuild.

IDC CEO TP Nchocho said that the unrest impacted growth, affected job creation opportunities, economic transformation and investor confidence in the domestic economy.

Godongwana distances himself from salary dispute
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana is not party to the salary dispute between the South African Revenue Service (SARS), its commissioner Edward Kieswetter and the Public Servants Association (PSA), according to an answering affidavit filed by National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane on Godongwana’s behalf at the North Gauteng High Court.

Mogajane maintains that the allocation SARS received was R1 billion higher than what the taxman was budgeted to receive.
He added that SARS’s budget of over R10.5 billion for the 2021/22 financial year was inclusive of personnel costs (cost-to-company and related).