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foter workersAs the country stares into junk status, the hardest hit are the poor and unemployed. Contrary to the utterances of several (uninformed and or reckless) public officials that junk status allows South Africa to set its own rules of the game, there is no good that comes from higher borrowing cost, higher rates of debt repayment and its concomitant effect on domestic allocations for social services, infrastructure development and cost of food and transport, among a myriad of impacts of a downgrade to sub-investment ratings.

The status quo stands in contrast to a vision that was outlined by the National Planning Commission in its 2011 National Development Plan (NDP). Chapter three on Economy and Employment (Vision 2030) outlined a considered strategy whereby “achieving full employment, decent work and sustainable livelihoods is the only way to improve living standards and ensure a dignified existence for all South Africans. Rising employment, productivity and incomes are the surest long-term solution to reducing inequality”.            

How will the NDP’s central goal to “expand employment and entrepreneurial opportunities on the back of a growing, more inclusive economy”, be held ransom by the current incompetent and unaccountable political leadership, on whose watch the economy has slid into a tailspin, with growth levels predicted at under 1% per annum.

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