statement by Bantu Holomisa and Roelf Meyer

The UDM is extremely grateful for the agreement reached at Nedlac on the presidential jobs summit planned for the second quarter of 1998. We have taken note of the two phased approach towards the summit and the follow-up phase envisaged. Although proper planning is essential, it is a pity that this most desperate need of so many of our fellow South Africans took so long to receive the proper attention it deserves.

It is, however, clear that sufficient new jobs are not going to be created by government and big business alone. The only way to achieve sustainable success in this area, the UDM believes, will be to start with relevant programmes at grass roots level, targeting individuals and households. We need to bring jobs to the townships.

In the quest for urgent and creative solutions to this priority issue, the UDM will hold an economic workshop early in the new year. This workshop will involve experts in the respective fields of economic planning, labour and related issues. The UDM will therefore be in a position to creatively take part in the consultation and negotiation phase towards the proposed presidential summit.

If the war against unemployment is not won, a sea of desperation and hopelessness will obliterate many of the good things that South Africa has achieved so far. Unemployment needs to be an urgent national priority.