Good job markets demand a more open and equal economy – Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu Natal that South Africa’s best hope of becoming job market disruptors was to address inequality and strive towards making South Africa a more open economy.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the launch of a report entitled “The Future of Work”, produced by the International Labour Organisation. He unpacked the recommendations of the report, which was informed by input from government, employers and trade unions in more than 110 ILO member states.

His address was a frank account of the situation which emerging economies found themselves in, where even though many have been touted as the latest frontiers of economic growth, inequality and poverty remained stubbornly high.

Ramaphosa said technological advances had consequences for workers and communities, such as increased insecurity and job losses. He said this led to protectionism and had consequences for future work processes.

Ramaphosa said he advocated for a “universal labour agreement” which would also include basic working conditions, such as an adequate living wage, limits work hours, as well as safety and health conditions in the workplace.