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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor


‘Check the Guinness World Records’: Lesufi launches  programme to employ half-a-million

According to Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, 480 000 beneficiaries of the R350 SRD grant will be provided with training and job opportunities.


Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi launched a mass skills training programme for the province at the Nasrec Expo Centre, in Johannesburg, on Saturday, 6 April.

According to the premier, the first phase of the new initiative which is also aimed at uplifting Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant beneficiaries in Gauteng, will consist of 55 labour activation programmes.

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Panyaza Lesufi announces mass Gauteng skills programme

In the coming weeks, the next two phases will be launched in Gauteng, in accordance with implementing a total of 105 labour activation programmes in the province. 

The programmes will be jointly funded by the provincial government, Department of Employment and Labour, as well as the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

 Nxesi announced during the media briefing that his department will invest  R8.2 billion in the joint programme.

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Expansion of Nasi Ispani – Lesufi

The new initiative, named iCrush ne Lova Jobs and Skills Programme, is an expansion of the Nasi Ispani Programme which was launched in 2023 and aims to provide jobs to 480 000 people.

“The iCrush ne Lova Jobs and Skills Programme seeks to bridge the gap between the skills supply and the demands of an evolving South African job market and is the cornerstone of the provincial government’s efforts to combat unemployment and ignite Gauteng’s economy,” Lesufi revealed.

“The programme offers carefully selected skills training opportunities for all ages: In construction, engineering, textile, wholesale and retail, furniture manufacturing, aviation, and entrepreneurial skills, among others.”

R400k from SRD grant

Lesufi encouraged the youth to apply for the skills training programme.

“We are not taking under a 100 000, we are not taking under 200 000, we are not taking under 400 000, we are taking almost 500 000 unemployed people out of poverty and placing them on the path of human development,” he said.

“We are going to be one province that will tell our president thank you so much for your R350 grant, we are taking R400,000 from that grant and we are giving our people a better life.”

‘Check the Guinness World Records’

Lesufi added that a programme of such a scale “has never happened before” and jokingly said he asked his team “to check the Guinness World Records”. 

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How to apply

Unemployed Gauteng residents can apply at their nearest school or community hall on 13 and 14 April 2024.

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