With 7-million destitute job-seekers it would have been very helpful if they could have been freed temporarily at least from aspects of the labour laws making it costly, risky and difficult for anyone to consider employing anyone.   Surely we cannot tolerate a situation where unemployed youths have virtually no job prospects ?

This week in his weekly column in Business Day Leon Louw referred to the latest budget statement – What was missing from the budget statement.

Courtesy of Business Day here are some random extracts but it is recommended that the full article be read by clicking on the link.

IN FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan’s world, everyone else is out of step.   Commentators and rating agencies should not be downgrading us, despite violent unrest, ill-prepared police, wildcat strikes, tumbling mineral production, extreme unemployment, excessive wage hikes, endemic corruption, failed state-owned enterprises (SOEs), disastrous energy shortages, concerns about leadership, accountability and the like.   We are in deep crisis even if “not in terminal crisis”.

The medium-term budget policy statement has been met with cautious approval, especially the promise of fiscal rectitude and improved efficiency.   Instead of adding comment on what is in the budget, this column considers what’s missing; what might have improved our economy and ratings and what should be considered for the main budget.   What would have made it less of a business-as-usual budget and stop us falling further behind the growing number of high-performance African economies?

He has the only ministry allowed to give marching orders to others.   Something fully within his mandate would be, for instance, the introduction of mandatory, transparent and independent impact and cost-benefit assessments for new laws and policies, with sunset dates for all extant measures that don’t pass muster.

President Jacob Zuma, and ministers Gordhan, Rob Davies and Ebrahim Patel, promised the systematic removal of red tape from small businesses.   Instead, we’ve had a deluge of brown tape — regulatory diarrhoea — imposing extreme, often prohibitive, costs without measurable benefits.   He could have promised implementation, and added that brown tape will also be removed from everyone, not just small business, from citizens wasting time and money to renew official documents, to conglomerates wanting the right to create thousands of jobs by starting new mines and power stations.

Finally, he could have announced a reduction in welfare dependency and unemployment by announcing — with the Department of Labour’s agreement — a right-to-work policy according to which 7-million destitute job-seekers would be freed temporarily from aspects of labour law that make it costly, risky and difficult to employ people.   More than half of all youth have never been employed and, along with many adults, have no job prospects at present.