Global and local developments during 2008/2009 fundamentally altered the context in which the third phase of the EPP operated. The thematic areas of focus were revised to take account of the impact of the global economic downturn and a new focus on the nature of economic policy interventions emerged from the shift in the political environment.

Specifically, the five focus areas of the third phase of the EPP became the following:

  1. Measures to reduce priority skills gaps
  2. Micro and macro regulations and processes to be more conducive to employment creation
  3. Reviewing and formulating strategies addressing precarious work conditions and contributing to decent work opportunities
  4. To review and reflect on the quality of growth and employment generating strategies
  5. Strengthening capacity and institutions for social dialogue and partnership for employment creation

Training layoff scheme (TLS)
EPP provided support for the implementation of the TLS, a measure proposed in the Framework for SA’s Response to the International Economic Crisis, aiming to avoid retrenchment of workers. Up until August 2011, more than 11,000 jobs were “saved”. Discussions within Government and with the social partners focus on the TLS possibly becoming a permanent alternative to retrenchments.

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Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)
EPP III funding enabled the Department of Labour to commission a RIA of the amendments to key pieces of SA’s Labour Legislation in 2010. The RIA report highlighted the potential impact on employment creation and attempted to provide alternative options, resulting in the proposed amendments being withdrawn. As a result of the report, 900,000 jobs were saved. EPP still provides support for legal advisors to Government, Organized Business and Organized Labour, as they re-negotiate the amendments.

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Community Works Programme (CWP)
With EPP support the CWP has piloted new approaches to public employment at the community level, and has now been successfully integrated into the Expanded Works Programme. By December 2010, 80,000 jobs were created at various sites across the country. EPP supports the impact assessment of CWP to secure funding to ultimately upscale CWP to reach one million participants by 2014.

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DISCLAIMER: The following content is research, analysis and opinion, expressed and representing a consensus of the particular authors, and does not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the EPP, Development Policy Research Unit, or the University of Cape Town.