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Joyce Moloi-Moropa: "The Majority of South-Africans have no Benefit from Economic Growth"

Translated Monday 14 November 2011, by Henry Crapo and reviewed by Bill Scoble

For Joyce Moloi-Moropa, member of parliament, leader of the Communist Party, and member of the executive of the African National Congress, it is a tiny minority that retains control of the economy.

Huma: How are we to fight the scourge of youth unemployment in South Africa?

Joyce Moloi-Moropa: The first consideration is to determine where the gaps are in our industrial development. We have no industrial policy worthy of the name. We must build a real industrial base to create jobs. This is one of 
 priorities of this government: to reduce unemployment. But the other major challenge is the development of skills, aligned to the needs of those 
industries we need to develop in South Africa.

Huma: Does the fight against unemployment pass through a better initial training of young people?

Joyce Moloi-Moropa: Absolutely. Unemployment affects mainly young people 
having no diplomas. That’s why we develop programs to send for training those young people who leave school without qualifications and who do not manage to fit into the working world. It is these young people for whom we are most concerned.

Huma: What positive results have come from the creation of a National Development Agency for Youth?

Joyce Moloi-Moropa: The motives that guided the creation of this agency are good. This structure is helping young people to find training, to orient their search for a job, and to initiate projects.

Huma: Would you say that there still exists, in South Africa, a form of economic apartheid?

Joyce Moloi-Moropa: I would not put it that way. But economic growth, it is obvious, does not benefit all. A majority of South Africans are excluded. A small minority still holds the levers of the economy. This poses a problem.

We have initiated policies to alter this state of affairs. The consequences have not necessarily been very positive. According to the policies of Black Economic Empowerment (BEE, economic promotion for blacks - Ed), the original intent was to train managers, capable of directing businesses, to become captains of industry, to assume a share of economic power. However, this policy just allowed a few to get rich, and led to the emergence of a small black business elite. We speak now of a universal "BEE" that can benefit all, that would promote community development and go beyond mere individual advancement.

Huma: Is there a link between unemployment and violence in the urban zones?

Joyce Moloi-Moropa: When people do not work, when they are desperate, when they dwell on their anger, many things can happen. In that sense, yes, there is a link between unemployment and violence, crime. The response to the serious problem posed by criminality can not be reduced to repression and arrests. We must help people tempted by crime to take other paths, to become full players in the country’s development.

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