# Thread: The cost of saving jobs

1. ## The cost of saving jobs

Could someone check my maths, please:
The government had provided R11-billion in funds to the Department of Economic Development which had saved and created more than 20 000 jobs, minister Ebrahim Patel said on Friday.
full story from M&G here
R11 000 000 000 divided by 20 000 = R550 000.00 per job.

That's quite a price tag!

Other numbers are given further on in the story too. Doesn't matter which one you turn to, the cost per job looks pretty damn sweet.

Where do I get my slice of that action?

2. An incredible number.

I seem to remember seeing similarly high figures in the US for their job-creation efforts.

3. ## Wrong Maths

Hi Dave

Your maths is wrong cause the information is wrong. The government did not spend R11 billion on 20 000 jobs. It has a fund of R11 billion to save jobs (through a range of measures), and so far money from that fund has been used to save 20 000 jobs.

As to how much was actually spent on each job, I don't know that, but I do know the following:

(1) The R11 billion is a multi-year budget allocation.
(2) Uptake of the schemes covered by the Fund have generally been low. It is up to companies to apply for the support from government (IDC schemes etc). This means that it is probable that there has been underspending from government.

I hope this helps.

4. ## Thank given for this post:

AndyD (29-Sep-10), Dave A (29-Sep-10)

5. Thanks Segoy. Yeah - it seemed pretty odd to me.

So if the numbers don't give the real story, why were they presented this way?

A case of the dear minister just trying to impress his audience with the big numbers?
Or did the reporter misreport what was actually presented?

Or maybe this reader is messing up

6. ## A bit of both

Hey Dave

I listened to that speech live and didn't think that the minister presented it in an ambiguous manner. Nevertheless, if he was vague, all journalists were given a copy of the speech to refer to, which should have made things clearer. I refered to that copy a number of times when I wanted to double check things.

I think the misunderstanding came because the journalist did a sloppy job by presenting the headline in a sensationalist manner. Its not that the journalist outright claimed that the R11 billion was spent on 20 000 jobs, but the headline and content of the article encouraged this interpretation.

I have spent some time following media reports about minister Patel. I am sometimes at events at which he talks and I am often surprised by what the media says afterwards. He is an incredibly articulate person but mis-reporting appears to surround him. There seems to be a bias in the media which results mis-quotes and misinformation.

I don't think it is deliberate. I think its the result of personal prejudices and assumptions on the part of journalists which cause them to interpret him in particular ways and construct imaginings of what they think he might mean, or what they think he might intend. Ultimately, I think, it is the result of a two things: (1) a very, very shallow understanding of the actual political landscape of the country and the happens within that landscape; (2) pressures on journalists to produce work quickly, which causes them to make mistakes and be irresponsible in the way in which they communicate the messages.

7. ## Thank given for this post:

AndyD (30-Sep-10), BusFact (30-Sep-10), Dave A (30-Sep-10)

8. Originally Posted by Segoy
........There seems to be a bias in the media which results mis-quotes and misinformation.

I don't think it is deliberate. I think its the result of personal prejudices and assumptions on the part of journalists which cause them to interpret him in particular ways and construct imaginings of what they think he might mean, or what they think he might intend. Ultimately, I think, it is the result of a two things: (1) a very, very shallow understanding of the actual political landscape of the country and the happens within that landscape; (2) pressures on journalists to produce work quickly, which causes them to make mistakes and be irresponsible in the way in which they communicate the messages.
You seem to give the press the benefit of the doubt when it comes to intentions. I'm not sure I share your sentiments that the press are not intentionally mis-reporting and deliberately biased. I think journalists are about reporting in general and the area they are reporting on to know the difference between facts, evidence and fiction.

9. Maybe it's just the way of the world. We seem to live in the age of sound bites.

It's pretty disappointing though when even those small fragments aren't quoted correctly or placed in reasonable context.

10. ## Intentional or not

Thanks Dave and Andy

Andy - just with regards to your comment about journalists supposedly being specialised in a field, I think I agree.

Staying with the topic of Patel, I remember reading an article by a very prominent business reporter from a prominent local business newspaper sometime last year. The reporter was describing Patel and his politics and his likely approach to his job within government. I remember being angry because she made information up. She accused him of being an out-and-out protectionist during his tenure as a trade union leader. This was in relation to his union having pushed for quotas on Chinese imported clothing. She went on to warn the public that he would probably pursue these kinds of policies as a Minister.

The problem was that if this journalist had followed the debates in the clothing industry closely, she would have known that Patel had always said that protectionism itself would never work. Being on the receiving end of some of their media releases, I knew that he was punting a short term measure to provide temporary protection to the clothing industry while it restructured itself internally.