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Mashatile Calls for Unified Action on Unemployment and Climate Change

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Paul Mashatile Calls for Unified Action on Unemployment and Climate Change

Deputy President Paul Mashatile

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has delivered a compelling speech urging social partners to collaborate with the government in addressing South Africa’s pressing issues, namely unemployment and climate change.


Speaking at the National Economic Development Labour Council’s (NEDLAC) 28th Annual Summit in Johannesburg, Mashatile highlighted the economic setbacks intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in soaring unemployment rates and job losses.

Mashatile emphasized that the state of the labour market is a reflection of the apartheid legacy, characterized by racial and gender disparities, skills shortages, and high unemployment rates, particularly among Africans.


While acknowledging the slight decrease in the unemployment rate to 32.6% in the second quarter of this year, he urged stakeholders to work together more urgently to reverse this trend and foster inclusive growth.

The Deputy President drew attention to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for a social compact between the government and social partners, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to reshape South Africa’s trajectory.


Mashatile recognized NEDLAC’s historical role in collaborating on significant policy choices and stressed the necessity of overcoming ideological differences among social partners to address the country’s immense crisis.

Additionally, Mashatile highlighted the importance of proactive partnerships to combat climate change and its detrimental effects on the country, such as floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, and air pollution.

He commended the ongoing partnership between the Presidency, Business for South Africa, and the government in tackling critical issues related to energy, logistics, and crime.

Mashatile emphasized the need for social compacts to go beyond mere discussions and produce tangible outcomes. NEDLAC, in particular, has a responsibility to demonstrate that win-win situations are attainable, even in the face of complex challenges.

In conclusion, Mashatile called for a comprehensive approach to address not only immediate crises but also prepare for future challenges, including health emergencies, natural disasters, failing infrastructure, and escalating levels of crime and vandalism. He stressed the importance of embracing these realities and taking proactive steps to safeguard lives, livelihoods, and the environment.


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