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South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma is to give his annual state of the nation address today when parliament opens in Cape Town. The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), which is opposed to labour brokering – the use of staffing companies – expects the president to focus on “decent” job creation in today’s speech.
“South Africa is waiting to hear from the president how his firm commitment to make decent job creation a top priority will be converted into new jobs on the ground,” Cosatu said ahead of the speech on Wednesday.
“The federation also looks forward to hearing that strong action is to be taken on improving the quality of work. Far too many jobs have been casualised and we have still not ended the scourge of labour broking. It must be completely banned.” Cosatu had previously criticised the use of labour broking and likened it to “slavery”. Critics say labour brokers are used to avoid laws.
Cosatu spokesman, Patrick Craven, said the federation hoped the president would announce progress made on the decent work agenda, especially in light of the “grim” unemployment figures released by Statistics South Africa last week. This showed that 68,000 jobs were shed in the last quarter of 2012, following labour unrests in the mining and agricultural sectors.