Hon Deputy Speaker and Mr President, the international consultancy firm Ernst & Young's latest 2012 Africa Attractiveness Survey makes some interesting points.
Firstly, the number of foreign direct investment projects in Africa grew by 27% between 2010 and 2011, and has grown at a compound rate of close to 20% since 2007. Secondly, despite this growth, there remain lingering negative perceptions of the continent, but only among those who are not yet doing business in Africa. Thirdly, the story of Africa's progress, not just in economic but also in sociopolitical terms, needs to be told more confidently and consistently. Fourthly, this broad-based progress is underscored by a substantial shift in mindset and activities among Africans themselves, with increasing self-confidence and strong growth in intra- African investment, which expanded by some 42% since 2007. Fifthly, regional integration is critical to accelerated and sustainable growth, with the larger market creating the critical mass to enhance the African investment proposition. They pointed to the example of the Free Trade Area talks, launched by President Zuma in June 2011 in Johannesburg, as the most positive development. Sixthly, bridging the infrastructure gap will be a key enabler for integration, growth and development. They pointed with approval to the South African investment programme, launched by President Zuma in last year's state of the nation address.
The survey addresses what is to be done. At the top of their list is addressing the gap between perceptions and reality. Having noted the pessimism of many outsiders, they say the facts tell a different story - one of reform, progress and growth. These trends are repositioning the continent and individual African countries as viable alternatives to other emerging market destinations that are often viewed in a more favourable light. It is a positive story that demands telling and retelling. We have been subjected to negative stories about Africa for far too long. Its updated survey ranks South Africa first on the continent in attractiveness for business. This survey of more than 500 business leaders and investors in 38 countries was done in January 2013, after the strikes at the Marikana platinum mine and on Western Cape farms.
I quote this survey, hon members, because it points to a challenge we have seen in this House yesterday from sections of the opposition: the gap between perception and reality. Listening to some members of the opposition, we have not been able to get anything right. Pessimism and negativity dominated their speeches. Yes, we have gone through a challenging year in 2012, marked by recessions in major export markets and a spate of industrial action. But we ended the year with 80 000 more jobs than when we started the year. That means the economy has created 600 000 jobs since October two years ago. That means there are 13,6 million South Africans who are working.
Governments govern, but not always in conditions of their choosing. Last year, demand for key minerals declined sharply months before the mining strikes. Sales of platinum, which is our single largest export product, to Japan, which is our largest platinum market, fell by 40% in the period before the strike, as the Japanese car industry slumped. By year end, total platinum sales were down by 18,5%. It impacted on jobs, on growth and on investment.
It is precisely to address these cyclical challenges that government fast- tracked the infrastructure investment plan. What the President indicated in the state of the nation address was how we are moving from plan to action. We saw examples of a nation that is working, that is building and that is laying the foundation for sustainable growth.
The President reported on the 675 kilometres of electricity transmission lines that were laid last year. It is the largest level in more than 20 years. The President referred to the Majuba railway line, where we will be turning the sod within weeks. It is the first large new railway line laid by the state since 1986. [Applause.]
The President spoke of the De Hoop Dam. Taken together with the Mooi Mgeni Dam, we have created a new water yield of 126 million cubic metres of water - significantly more than the water consumption of the city of Mangaung and Msunduzi or Pietermaritzburg combined.
The infrastructure programme provides jobs to more than 150 000 people across the country, direct jobs, with 43 000 of these jobs in energy- related projects alone. The infrastructure programme that the President spoke about is driving a wave of new industrialisation. For example, in six cities, we are connecting bus, train and taxi transport to provide urban workers with a cheaper and quicker means of travel. Until a few years ago, we imported the buses from Brazil. Last year, we introduced new tender conditions that required local manufacturing.
Johannesburg and Cape Town have put these as conditions in their tender documents, requiring that 80% of the bus bodies be made locally. Close to 250 buses will be made in South Africa, creating jobs and empowering our nation. The Johannesburg buses will be made at Marcopolo's plant in Gauteng. The chassis will be made at Mercedes Benz in East London. Busmark is setting up a new factory in Cape Town, with Industrial Development Corporation, IDC, support, to manufacture this city's buses here. For example, last year the IDC partnered with a local company to complete a contract for the supply, manufacturing and erection of an air-cooled condenser system for Eskom's Kusile Power Station. The contract value is R2,4 billion. It will use 53 000 tons of steel and create about 750 local jobs. Another example is that the rail programme is helping to stimulate the local train and locomotive industry. The investment of R160 billion in rolling stock will result in significant localisation of coaches, wagons and locomotive manufacturing. Already a local company has landed the contract to supply South African-manufactured wagons and locomotives to Mozambique.
One of the key themes pursued by the President is economic integration on the African continent. South Africa has expanded trade links with the rest of the continent. Last year, we sold R20 billion more in goods to neighbours than the year before, bringing our total exports to the rest of Africa to R123 billion. Trade with Africa created jobs here. It created 16 400 new direct jobs in South Africa last year alone. So, in all, there are 111 000 direct jobs that rely on exports to the rest of the continent.
Last year, Ford, one of the car makers active in South Africa, sold 11 000 Ranger bakkies to the rest of the continent. That means that one in five vehicles that it manufactures locally, it was selling to other African countries. This Pretoria-based company was supported by the IDC to tool-up for a major export drive. So, we see here a partnership between the private and the public sector that has created 550 new jobs, of which 100 are with smaller suppliers in its incubation hub. That is African regional integration in practice. That is why Africa is the big story for the next decade. That is why Africa has featured so consistently in the state of the nation addresses.
There is one more job number I wish to share with hon members today. That is what is called the dependency ratio or the total number of nonworking people in relation to each employed person. The South African Institute of Race Relations, not generally very friendly towards government, recently released a report that showed an interesting trend. In 1994, there were 3,8 people for every employed person. Last year this was reduced to 2,8 persons per employed person, or a reduction of 25%. [Applause.] For Africans, the reduction was even more dramatic. The ratio moved from 4,9 people for each employed person to 3,2 people for every employed person, or a 35% reduction. Yes, we still have significant employment challenges, but we are also beginning to see real progress. Last year, we saw both the Marikana tragedy and the strikes in the Western Cape farming sector.
The picture the opposition painted yesterday is of a government simply doing the bidding of an overpaid and unproductive labour elite. The reality, of course, is very different to this suburban, dinner-table impression. Those who travel through this beautiful country, not only its mountains and its oceans, but also its factories, farms and mines, will see the face of the working poor. They are also South Africans about whom government must care. A quarter of workers earned under R1 500 a month in 2011, the latest year for which data is available.
In contrast, the CEOs of large listed companies in mining, finance and in services earned between R6 million and R9 million a year, or 135 times as much as the workers in their own enterprises. We point to these vast disparities not to score points but to recognise that they limit our country and our people from developing the social cohesion that the National Development Plan, NDP, calls for and that successful economies need and benefit from.
Of course, we need to improve productivity and lift the levels of investment as part of the strategy to address the need to improve both industrial performance and working conditions. But, I wish to note, also, that productivity has grown in recent years. In the year to mid-2012, according to the latest Reserve Bank data, productivity outside of agriculture climbed by 1,2%, and by 2,3% in manufacturing. Let me use the example of agriculture to show how we are attempting to address the challenges of promoting employment. The Statistics SA figures show that farm employment is growing, with 55 000 new jobs in the past 12 months.
There are success stories we can celebrate. Two new soya bean crushing plants are currently being built in Mpumalanga and Gauteng that will sustain about 6 000 jobs in farming and agroprocessing. A new chicken business in the Free State has created 560 jobs in the abattoir and chicken feed factory, resulting in the country's fifth largest chicken broiler producer. The company intends to up their employment to 1 000 people. In the tomato paste supply chain, about 700 jobs were created last year when companies invested in new capacity following a trade tariff increase by the Industrial Trade Administration Commission of South Africa, Itac. In Keiskammahoek, an upgraded dairy with a new milking parlour, fencing and upgrading of the access road is leading to the employment of 80 people. Coega Dairy has created 200 new jobs and will increase the Eastern Cape's milk production by 20%.
In January this year, I met with a senior executive of global consumer goods company Unilever in Davos. He was positive about South Africa and said they are expanding their local operations. He also said that they were making eThekwini the hub of all their African operations this year. They are also targeting South Africa as the key supplier for a sunflower seed project.
I make these points because they are good news stories, and they should not depress those members of the opposition who wallow in negativity; they should be jointly celebrated. These examples all show jobs coming from investment-led projects in the agroprocessing sector, sometimes combined with either trade or competition measures, as part of the intergraded governance plan, but we recognise the challenges of working conditions too.
In 2011, median wages, which are average wages on farms, were R1 300 a month. Yesterday, comments were made by one hon member of the opposition about farm workers, and they lacked humanity and compassion.
Ons besef dat nie alle boere hul werkers sleg behandel nie en dat daar voorbeelde is van goeie praktyke, maar daar is ook ernstige probleme. [We realise that not all farmers treat their workers badly and that there are examples of good practice, but there are also serious problems.]
Last year, City Press visited a well-known wine and olive oil farm in the Western Cape, where it found 46 women workers living in conditions they described as a living hell. Journalist Jacques Pauw said the women live like packed sardines in two metal containers and two dilapidated bungalows. They did not have working toilets and had to use the nearby bushes instead. [Interjections.] They live in bunk beds with their children and cook metres away from where they sleep. This, too, is a reality that we must confront and recognise. [Interjections.] Many farmers have complained about the interventions.
Following the strikes in agriculture in the Western Cape, the Employment Conditions Commission conducted public hearings and recommended a new minimum wage for the sector. When farmers complained, citing the impact on their operations and viability, we called on them to recognise that the answer lies in accepting collective bargaining as the preferred system for wage setting, which will then make wage determinations redundant.
Collective bargaining is a system of self-regulation. It is a flexible system that takes account of different economic circumstances in the sector. It recognises acceptance of the voice and the organisation of farm workers. We live in a democracy. Freedom of association, collective bargaining and fair labour practices are constitutionally protected rights as important as freedom of speech. Our democratic freedoms are not less simply because they are freedoms used by the poor.
Youth employment featured prominently in yesterday's debate. Regrettably, the comments were often marked more by narrow politicking than a serious attempt to work together to address the challenge. In May last year, hon Mazibuko issued a press release to invite people, "to come and see the Youth Subsidy Programme in action in the Western Cape since 2009". Well, we looked at the figures in the Western Cape. What is the reality? According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey of Statistics SA, there were 526 000 employed young people under 30 years old in the Western Cape at the start of last year. By the end of the year, there were 500 000. In other words, there were about 26 000 fewer jobs for young people in the Western Cape. In the same year, Gauteng created 44 000 new jobs for young people, and Mpumalanga created 13 000 new jobs. [Applause.]
What this shows is that getting a youth employment strategy right requires more than rhetoric. It needs a comprehensive approach, which begins by improving education and training, providing work exposure to young people, using public and private sector programmes to draw young people into employment with well-structured incentives, and utilising special measures such as youth targets and set-asides to mandate the employment of young people.
Yes, it is hard work. Yes, it cannot just be caught in a sound bite. Yes, you cannot just shout it as a slogan, but that is what governance is about: the hard work to deal with the challenge of youth unemployment. [Applause.] We must together to bring more young people in the Western Cape and elsewhere in South Africa into productive jobs.
The hon Buti Manamela gave a number of examples yesterday of what we could do. It requires a strong effort to create the conditions for accelerated employment across the economy, for all workers. We have to increase the total number of jobs. We have to increase the number of jobs for young people. It is about the vision and the integrated approach of the NDP. It is about the economic strategy set out in the New Growth Path, NGP. Above all, it is about working in partnership with the business community, yes, but also with organised labour and, above all, with youth organisations themselves, that say very clearly, "Nothing about us without us". That is what the Youth Employment Accord is about: consensus, co-operation, jointly tackling the stubborn challenge of youth unemployment. This government is ready to tackle these things. We call on the opposition to support us as we do this. I thank you. [Applause.]