Tip 1: Target 8.1 – Full Employment and decent work with equal pay.
At an organizational level, employers must track and report on vacancies that were subsequently not filled and the reasons thereof. Organisations must actively commit to job preservation. In these unprecedented times, job preservation has become as equally important as job creation.
In ensuring equal pay, organisations must create a clear framework that measures performance, salaries across positions and the characteristics of the people holding these positions. By ensuring objective, rigorous and regular screening of job titles and their related pay, the organization identifies and prevents biases and systemic issues from creating unequal pay.
Tip 2: Target 8.6 – Promote youth employment, education and training.
Youth education and training must be focused on developing in-demand skillsets on a local level as well as on the international stage. Organisations must, as part of their responsibilities of being responsible corporate citizens according to King IV, commit to partnering with organisations such as the Youth Employment Services (YES) that focus on giving young people on-the-job experience that open more avenues of employment and permanent absorption by the YES partners.
Tip 3: Target 8.7 – End modern slavery, trafficking and child labour
Businesses (particularly in the manufacturing space) need to be held accountable for the demographics of their staff: it must be ensured that minors are not recruited into their workforce. This can be achieved through increased random inspections and incentivising whistle-blowing on this issue.
As South Africans and citizens of the world, we need to buy responsibly. By starving the monster and supporting brands that are ethical, pay fairly and do not promote child labour, we are reducing the demand for their products and therefore reducing the demand for child labourers. Have you ever questioned how your favourite brands produce what they sell? Under which circumstances are people suffering at the expense of luxury and convenience?
Lastly, do people know what modern slavery looks like? Do people know what human trafficking is, how it works and how they can keep themselves and the rest of the world safe from harms way? By cultivating a culture of sensitivity towards human trafficking, modern slavery and child labour, we can be quick to read into situations that put us in harm’s way and react defensively if not pro-actively. Ending modern slavery and human trafficking begins with trusting our instincts about what feels wrong/unsafe and standing up without hesitation.
Tip 4: Target 8.9 – Promoting beneficial and sustainable tourism
When it comes to travel aspirations, South Africans prefer traveling abroad than taking a South African Sho’t Left. In a space of eight months, the South African tourism sector is said to have lost about R68 billion in revenue owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a sector that anchors the economies of many under-developed regions in our country. In the short-term, let us fully #SupportLocal. Have you visited the majestic St Lucia Estuary in Northern KwaZulu-Natal or danced with a penguin or two at Boulders Beach, Western Cape? Cabin fever has got us all in a rut – let us take multiple South African Sho’t Lefts. In the long term, for every international visit you secure, do you commit to two local visits? (there are nine provinces to choose from!). Sustainable tourism starts with us.
Tip 5: Target 8.3 – Promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises
With the future of work projected to be multi-faceted, ranging from working from the office, working from home and a blended approach between the two, existing technologies and South Africa’s adaptability has resulted in the creation of new jobs that are traditionally not recognised as formal jobs and have therefore gone undetected. These jobs include COVID-19 mask production, COVID-19 compliance officers (for temperature scanning and sanitising) and Amazon’s 3 000 new employees who will be working from home. From a policy perspective,
Tip 6: Target 8.10 – Universal access to banking, insurance and financial services.
Apart from systemic limitations that prevent people from accessing financial services such as being remotely located from a bank (with little to no ability to access online platforms), being remotely located from a financial advisor or an insurer, South Africans are crippled by the fear that they are being “robbed” through the high banking and portfolio management fees or the perceived self-interest of the sector to push product for commission instead of finding the right fit for them. South Africa is in dire need of independent, formalised and wide-reaching financial advisors to provide access to systems and offer objective advice to South Africa in all its homesteads and townships. Banks need not shy away from establishing branches in rural areas since rural areas struggle the most with limited/burdensome access to everything.
Tip 7: Target 8.B – Develop a global youth employment strategy.
Growing and Nurturing the Global Business Service (GBS) sector needs to be a high ranking action item for youth employment strategists in South Africa. The GBS sector has created 1 741 new jobs in the first quarter of 2020 of which 92% of these are occupied by the youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. South Africa recently ranked as the 2nd most preferred Global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) destination in 2020 for the 3rd year running. This means that we are one of the top-ranked countries in the world that the global business community trusts enough to sub-contract parts of their operations to us (ranging from human resources, accounting, information technology etc.). By capitalizing on our attractiveness to the global business community by pushing the BPO agenda for the youth, we are aligning ourselves as a nation to building sustainable jobs for our youth.
Tip 8: Be Entrepreneurial
The growing student graduate and matriculant population needs to be met by a demand for their skills. As large corporates struggle to retain long-serving employees within their organisations, it is time we think differently. We are trained in a world where fitting the mould of an employee is the default position. We are encouraged to pursue employment and to feel safe and content thereafter. While job security and contentment are not bad things to have, we begin to fall into a routine that kills our innovative spirit. If you were to lose your job today, what’s the next step? Do you have a side hustle in the works? What are your monetizable talents? For example, are you good at artwork or do you have the face for voice-overs? Are you willing to become a waiter/ waitress outside of your 9-5? In the 21st century, being intentionally and unapologetically entrepreneurial is a mindset we all need to work on.
Ms Van Straaten brings with her extensive experience in stakeholder relations with her background as Key Client Services Manager, and savvy and professional communication skills as Head of Broadcasting, both positions held at Classic FM. With a degree in Law and Politics from the Rand Afrikaans University in 2003, Ms Van Straaten is passionate about South Africa especially social integration and cites the growth of the Campaign’s membership base and driving demand for locally-made products and services rendered as her key objectives at Proudly SA. Ms Van Straaten prizes creativity in the workplace with her background in music as a violinist, and places particular importance on education and continuous personal development. Her MBA candidacy at Henley Business School is testament to this. Other past experience includes Manager of the #IamConstitution Campaign at The Ichikowitz Family Foundation in which she witnessed first-hand the unification of people from various backgrounds who all possess one common goal, togetherness – this lesson she endeavours to share with member companies to inspire them to bridge the divide in the name of togetherness to collectively contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.