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City launches programme to alleviate unemployment among youth

The National Treasury allocated the funding to the city in the 2023-2024 financial year.

The CoE launched the Ekurhuleni Public Employment Programme (EPEP) at Germiston Stadium, welcoming the new recruits as part of the Youth Empowerment Programme.

In response to the rising youth unemployment rate in Ekurhuleni, over 1 200 unemployed residents were given employment opportunities for up to six months.

The programme aims to rapidly expand public employment and reduce the high unemployment rate, thus preserving and protecting community livelihoods.

Bokang Higa: “It is a joy to see young people in numbers gathered for a common purpose, which is employment opportunities. It highlights the need to have young people contribute to the economy. I am placed in Brakpan as a field worker. I hope the contract will be extended to 12 months. I also have a Safety Office qualification.”

 

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A R7m budget was allocated for this initiative, with funding provided by the National Treasury for the 2023-2024 financial year.

Winnie Mabena: “When I dropped out of school I had no backing qualification except my matric. To gain these skills training opportunities meant I would now have a SETA-accredited certificate to my advantage once the course was completed. I have acquired skills in tilling and carpentry, and also gain experience in the next six months of the programme.”

“The budget is allocated to assist the city in mitigating the negative impact of youth unemployment.

“The city PEP focuses on precinct management, community safety, place-making, greening, integrated waste management, and digitisation, particularly in poor and marginalised areas,” said Clr Nomadlozi Nkosi, the MMC for Developmental Planning and Real Estate.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) was established to address the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on jobs and livelihoods.

MMC for Corporate Shared Services Clr Sivuyile Ngodwana welcomes the audience.

It aims to protect existing jobs, support meaningful work, and aid the labour market’s recovery.

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This initiative also protects jobs in vulnerable sectors and provides livelihood support through various grants and programmes.

Millicent Mabena: “I have the opportunity to do tiling. The plan is to do my best and get absorbed into a permanent post in the city. For the duration of the contract, we will be able to fend for ourselves and become providers at home in our respective capacities.”

Nkosi said the Economic Development Department secured the grant from the National Treasury to implement the PESP with stakeholder departments and municipal entities.

Thabo Dlamini: “I hold political science and public relations Honours and am still unemployed. This will help me gain some income while I look for permanent employment.”

 

“The implementation of the programme in the CoE has significantly impacted the livelihoods of the local residents by supporting job creation, job protection, and livelihood support as part of a broader economic recovery.”

Jaylen Meyer: “My passion is software engineering. I had to drop out of school because of funds. This programme has enabled me to do data capturing, which is still aligned with what I originally wanted to study. My dream is to continue my studies, given the opportunity.”

Since the 2021/22 financial year, the city has recruited over 6 900 candidates through the programme, with grant allocations exceeding R320m from the Neighborhood Development Programme Grant.

“The beneficiaries, primarily youth from local communities, are recommended and appointed to improve service delivery initiatives, thereby reducing unemployment,” Nkosi said.

Young people gather at the Germiston Stadium to sign contracts.
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