Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "We are deeply worried about the levels of retrenchment and unemployment in our Country ", says a statement signed by His Exc. Mgr. Abel Gabuza, Bishop of Kimberly, and President of the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference).
"All the sectors of our economy are shedding jobs and expanding the ranks of the unemployed at an accelerated and alarming rate. In the mining sector alone, more than 70‚000 mine workers have lost their jobs in the past two years. We feel the pain of the thousands of South Africans who are unemployed and those who are victims of retrenchments, denounces "Justice and Peace".
Mgr. Gabuza demands "a decisive and strategic action to reverse the escalation in the job crisis. We therefore join the calls for a job summit to discuss the ongoing retrenchments and the measures to expand job creation in the tough economic climate".
Mgr. Gabuza also demands "a moratorium on all retrenchments in all sectors", while awaiting the outcomes of the job summit.
But the summit must only be a first step towards the adoption of macro-economic reforms leading to the creation of new jobs. "Our Country needs a macro-economic framework that it is increasingly labour-absorbing and equitable in its distribution patterns".
"We believe that efforts to cushion the effects of unemployment crisis on vulnerable families should be strengthened through expanded and sustained access to social protection. We therefore condemn the delays in the implementation of the unemployment insurance amendment bill which has been sent back to the Parliament for corrections", concludes the statement. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/8/2017)