Politics: Nedlac’s summary of GDS agreements

All constituencies made commitments to work for more jobs, better jobs and decent work for all.

This includes:

Public Investment Initiatives in partnership with the private sector. Many of these initiatives will be mainstream infrastructure projects with a very strong construction and labour-based component. Expanded Public Works Programmes to provide poverty and income relief and equip participants with some training and work experience.

Sector Partnerships and Strategies for effective restructuring of the economy towards equitable employment by creating growth through prioritising efforts in the following labour-intensive sectors: Clothing and Textiles Agriculture and Agro-processing Tourism Call Centres and back-office processing Cultural industries including craft, music, film, publishing and other media.

Sector strategies are already being pursued in a number of sectors: Automotive Mining Clothing and textiles Printing Agriculture Business also committed to investing R145 billion the next five years in the automotive, chemical, mining and oil sectors. The metals and engineering, pharmaceutical, sugar and textile industries have made specific commitments with regards to investments, although these have not been quantified.

Promoting local procurement resulting in the promotion of: Retention and creation of jobs Broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) Co-operative development Small enterprise development Growing the local economy The constituencies agreed to intensify their support for the Proudly South African Campaign as an important means of taking the message of local content, fair labour standards, environmental sustainability and quality products and services to the nation.

Small enterprise promotion with Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs) and other service centres as focal points. Business will consider extending the Business Trust beyond its original five-year lifespan, including specific Business Trust programmes such as the Tourism Enterprise programme. Support for co-operatives with government implementing a regulatory system promoting the role of co-operatives in achieving greater equity.

Jobs impact and monitoring programmes to develop a practical method to look at how the public and private sectors can report on total employment in a publicly accessible form.

All constituencies made commitments to work towards addressing the investment challenge

Constituencies have agreed to encourage investors to work towards investing up to 5% of their investible income in appropriate financial instruments that will be developed.

Constituencies have agreed to review administered prices and import parity pricing to identify current practices that might discourage investment. Constituencies have agreed that the share of lowincome housing financed by private-sector mortgages must increase.

Constituencies have agreed that Nedlac should host a conference of the trustees of pension and provident funds before the end of 2004 in order to build capacity of employee representatives on Boards of Trustees, in order to enhance decision-making with regard to the proposed extension of investment instruments.

Constituencies have also agreed to engage on the potential for establishing national pension and provident funds within sector of the economy.

This will be considered within the broader context of pension reform to ensure the comprehensiveness of the changes. Constituencies have agreed to implement the Financial Sector Summit agreements.

All constituencies made commitments to advancing equity, developing skills, creating opportunities for all and extending services

Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Government made a commitment of R10 billion for BEE over the next five years. Business confirmed its support and promotion of BEE.

A voluntary youth solidarity fund will be established, and youthorganisations will invite all employed youth to contribute one day's gross salar y to youthdevelopment programmes.

Employment equity Government committed to co-ordinate a joint campaign to enhance public awareness of the provisions of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 by August 2003.

Business undertook to contribute resources to the joint Employment Equity Campaign; and labour said it would educate its members on employment equity and mobilise them to participate in the Campaign. Promoting literacy including working through Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) for the achievement of the first objectives of the National Skills Development Strategy.

Learnerships – business and the Public Service committed to register at least 72 000 unemployed learners in learnerships by May 2004. Strengthening the SETAs – constituencies committed to ensuring that their SETA representatives are capacitated to effectively execute their functions.

Education Government will finalise recommendations to achieve the aim of affordable access for learners, particularly the poor. It will also extend its current school register of needs to provide more detailed information ofinfrastructure in all schools, and encourage proposals to support infrastructure in schools.

Access to basic services – government has already begun to expand access to basic education for all, and to provide poor households with some free basic services. These include timeframes and targets for access to water, electricity, sanitation and refuse collection.

Government is in the process of finalising policy on comprehensive framework for social protection, including social wage and social grant issues. It will take the framework back to Nedlac for engagement with the constituencies.

All constituencies made commitments to engage in local action and implementation for development

Local level planning It was agreed that social dialogue should be strengthened at the local level, so as to enhance the participation business, labour and communities in Integrated Development Planning processes.

Constituencies also agreed to strengthen the Imbizo and Letsema Campaigns, and encourage community participation in other fora such as ward committees, school governing bodies and community policing forums. Local economic development The constituencies agreed that mechanisms should be found to make it easier for SMEs and co-operatives to tender for local government work. Government undertook to expand the number of Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs) from 37 to 60 over the next 18 months, with an ultimate aim of having MPCCs in all 284 municipalities.

Labour, through the Job Creation Trust, will support small-scale projects that contribute to employment and skills development. Business will use business entities at local level to work with the Department of Trade and Industry to provide services to emerging businesses.

Provision of infrastructure and access to basic services The constituencies agreed that there was space for co-operation between local governments and other stakeholders to develop new insfrastructure and improve existing infrastructure Service-delivery mechanisms Government undertook to enhance service delivery through improvement of municipal infrastructure, particularly for the poor as elaborated in government's programmes.

Business has committed to launch a Mentor Programme with government to build emerging contractor capacity. If appropriate finacial mechanisms are established, labour committed to supporting the direction of financial resources, including retirement funds, to low-income housing programmes that support the densification and integration of communities.

Constituencies agreed that social dialogue should be strengthened at the local levels, so as to enhance the participation of business, labour and communities in Integrated Development Planning processes.

Source: www.nedlac.org.za


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