Dealing with Unemployment and Expanding Labour Rights

  1. We need to expand youth employment for disadvantaged South Africans through massive infrastructure development, which sees the role of the EPW broadened. This is dealt with in more detail in a later section.
  2. We must initiate legislation that ensures that employers who do not pay women equally to men are severally fined.
  3. We need to utilize the National Income Wealth Fund for the purposes of increasing the national pension. The national pension should ensure that – over and above grants, the universal basic wage and other measures – pensioners receive at least R3,500 in terms of pension payout.
  4. We must adjust the long-working hours that employees in South Africa face. We need to provide a host of measures in this regard. Firstly, we need to provide all employers with at least 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave; four weeks of paid vacation and 14 days of paid sick leave. We need to allow mothers a minimum of 6 months paid maternal leave, and fathers should be provided with a minimum 1 month paid maternal leave. We need to provide at least 1 month paid compassion leave for events such as funerals, marriages and the like. We will cover the definition of compassionate leave such that spending time to look after parents is included under its scope.
  5. We need to shorten the working week from its current 40 hours to 32 hours. This will allow employees more rest, it will stimulate productivity and it will increase jobs (as the remaining work hours would need to be filled).
  6. We need to enact a universal childcare and prekindergarten program. We have to make sure that every family in South Africa has the opportunity to send their kids to preschool starting from the age of 2.
  7. We need to encourage the formation of unions by legislating that all employees, in all sectors, must belong to a union of their choice.
  8. In order to deal with our crumbling infrastructure, recipients of the universal basic income who are not employed will be required to work on public works projects, whether these are new infrastructure projects or if they are simply involved in maintenance. As there are over 15 million unemployed people, we need a massive programme of infrastructure spending to create employment. There are also other knock-on effects to this policy, including providing persons who are unemployed with critical job and trade skills. We will ensure that these people have a positive outcome, and in this vein we can provide such individuals with either 1) be taught a skill or trade; or 2) obtain entry into university fully funded for the duration of their studies.

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