Manufacturing Circle Unveils Plan To Create A Million Jobs In A Decade

Updated on 1 December 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship And Business Stories (1 December)


The Manufacturing Circle has launched its ‘Map to a Million New Jobs in a Decade’, a plan containing constructive and actionable steps to create an environment in which manufacturing in South Africa can thrive and jobs can be created.

“With unemployment at a 14-year high of 27.7%, business confidence at its lowest level in a quarter of a century, and more than half of the population living in poverty, delivering jobs and inclusive growth has to be highest priority for government, business and labour,” said Manufacturing Circle chairman André de Ruyter.

In the past two decades, the manufacturing sector has shed half a million jobs. At just under 13%, it contributes less than half to GDP than is appropriate for South Africa’s stage of development.

“If manufacturing can expand to 30% of GDP, between 800 000 and 1.1 million direct jobs can be created, with 5 to 8 times that number in indirect jobs,” he added. “Our ‘Map to a Million’ puts forward detailed proposals to deliver a million jobs in manufacturing in the next decade.”

The Manufacturing Circle, the voice of the South African industry, submitted its proposals to fellow manufacturers, to ministers and administrators, to regulators and policy writers, to labour and to business, and the public at large. “If we succeed in catalysing a debate on how to grow the economy, and put more people to work, we will have achieved the first step on the road towards creating a million new jobs,” de Ruyter said.

The first priority is to prevent further de-industrialisation in rust belts like the Vaal Triangle, arresting further job losses and stabilising the industrial base. Then, to increase the utilisation of existing capacity, and boost the demand necessary to underpin new investment, additional demand for manufactured goods must be created.

The ‘Map to a Million’ proposes a number of demand-side interventions to increase domestic demand, pursue import substitution and enhance South Africa’s export competitiveness. These include:

A commitment by both business and government to visibly support Proudly South African, increasing the procurement of locally manufactured goods (provided their cost and quality are competitive); Investigation by government of its options to invest in catalytic projects, such as a new pipeline to bring natural gas from Rovuma in Mozambique into SA, using SA steel and pipe, to lower the cost of natural gas; An increase in the renewables’ component of electricity procurement, with solar and wind generation equipment manufactured in SA, among others.

The ‘Map to a Million’ also proposes various supply-side interventions to improve manufacturer’s competitiveness by reducing input costs, making changes to fiscal policy and supporting labour productivity. (via Bizcommunity)

Black Friday 2017 Biggest Trading Day Yet For E-retailer Superbalist

Fast fashion online retailer, Superbalist, has reported that Black Friday 2017 has gone down in history as its biggest trading day so far, with over 118% year-on-year growth and double 2016’s sales figures.

Record site traffic numbers were also reached with 143% year-on-year growth and five times more organic search for ‘Superbalist’ than for its biggest competitors.

Klyne Maharaj, head of brand at Superbalist says the team was extremely excited by the results, “We urged people to get online as soon as the sale opened to bag the best deals and they definitely did – we’ve never seen midnight shopping like that before! By 5:30am we’d achieved over 10% of the day’s target (more than a third of last year’s target) and we saw another spike in traffic later that afternoon as people got home from work and made the purchases they’d been dreaming of all day.”

Maharaj says that footwear led the charge in terms of trade, followed by womenswear and menswear. In the pre-Black Friday polls, participants mostly asked for sneaker deals, which was carried across to wishlist activity, with sneakers being the second most popular wishlist want. On the day, sneakers sold more than any other category with Vans Old Skools being the silhouette of choice – a trend Superbalist has seen all year as the kicks sell out almost instantly every time they’re restocked.

Maharaj concludes, “Black Friday was truly exceptional for us and we’d like to thank all our customers for their support on that particular day and every shopping occasion. It’s our mission to bring South Africans a considered, fashion-forward site that rivals any international online retail experience. It’s moments like Black Friday that show us we’re achieving our goal. (via Bizcommunity)

South Africa Records Trade Surplus Of More Than $4 Bln In October – Revenue Service

South Africa recorded a trade surplus of of R4.56 billion in October, after a surplus of R4.48 billion rand in the previous month, the revenue service said on Thursday.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said the surplus was a result of export receipts of R104.51 billion against imports of R99.95 billion.

“Exports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R2.29 billion (2.2%) and imports increased from September 2017 to October 2017 by R2.21 billion (2.3%),” SARS said.

The October trade data leaves South Africa with a trade surplus of nearly R52 billion in the year to date, compared with a shortfall of nearly R10 billion over the same period in 2016.

January – October exports have risen 6.6 percent on a year-on-year basis, while imports have dipped by 0.2 percent. (via African News Agency)

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