Colloquium on Employment Growth in South Africa: Constraints and Opportunities

March 2020

2020 Policy Digestpanel summaries
Sculptures by Anton Smit @Menlyn Boutique Hotel

South Africa is facing unprecedented economic difficulty and joblessness. Before the COVID-19 pandemic the situation was already severe. Now, several months into one of the biggest global public health crises in history, the SA jobless count is rising ever-higher. The need to provide sustainable livelihoods is intense, but so too are the economic, social, and institutional constraints to doing so. In the early days of the pandemic in South Africa, March 10th to 11th 2020, the EU-funded Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion (CBPEP), hosted by GTAC, organised an expert colloquium on Employment and Growth. This colloquium brought together senior representatives from academia, government, the private sector and civil-society for a thought-leadership dialogue on addressing worrying job and growth trends in the country.

Rationale for the colloquium 
The aim of the colloquium was twofold: to inform and stimulate the wider public and policy debate, and to inform the deliberations of the CBPEP Programme Advisory Committee (PAC). The colloquium included policy makers from the Departments of Higher Education, Labour, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Public Works, Small Business Development, Trade and Industry Tourism and National Treasury, officials from provincial governments and relevant agencies and institutions.

Use the menu at the top of this page to access summaries of all panels, discussions, and thought leadership resources.


Throughout its capacity-building journey CBPEP has learnt valuable lessons.  It has hosted various colloquiums and dialogues which has led to this key lesson.

Always add value… then magic happens:
Through its annual colloquiums and dialogues, CBPEP has aimed to create spaces dedicated to rich debate and knowledge sharing. The colloquiums have promoted innovative thinking and opportunities to build long-term relationships. Fundamentally, these dialogues have aimed to stimulate policy debate that can affect real change in areas of employment promotion.