The South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said on Thursday that it found President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address was floundering especially on the creation of jobs.
Dr Frans Cronje, IRR chief executive, said their research demonstrated a close relationship between economic growth and job creation, adding that too much government policy had the effect of stunting rates of growth and shutting off avenues to employment.
"There was very little in the address to suggest that the government is in a position to tackle South Africa’s greatest structural threat – the economic exclusion of very large numbers of young people," he said.
Cronje said employment data showed that at least 39 percent of young people were not in employment, education or training (NEET rate), adding that there was no greater threat to South Africa’s long-term stability than such levels of economic exclusion of young people.
"The jobs crisis is also reflected in expenditure data which shows that 50 percent of households spend less than R3 000 a month," Cronje said.
"The close relationship between economic growth and job creation suggests that South Africa would have to average economic growth rates in excess of five percent for a significant period of time in order to make deep inroads into unemployment and NEET rates."
Ramaphosa said that the far-reaching measures agreed upon at last year's Presidential Jobs Summit – when fully implemented – will nearly double the number of jobs being created in the economy each year.