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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


R23bn plan to create work opportunities

SA allocates R23.8 billion to tackle unemployment, focusing on training and job creation


The department of labour and employment will allocate R23.8 billion to its plan of action to alleviate unemployment for in-demand sectors.

Yesterday Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi announced the launch of the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Labour Activation Programmes (LAP) Unit training for employment and entrepreneurship programmes, which will launch in Gauteng and rolled out to other provinces this month.

R23.8bn allocated to plan

Nxesi said R23.8 billion would be allocated to implement the plan and include opportunities in 333 projects across the whole country to run between 12 and 36 months for 704 000 unemployed hopefuls.

“Training young people just for three or six months is not very helpful,” he said.

“So while they are being trained for a minimum of six months to a year, they must be linked to companies to absorb them, even if it is for a year or two.”

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Nxesi said the labour activation programme was not a sliver bullet for the challenge of unemployment, but added it was part of the response to mitigate unemployment.

Creating entrepreneurs is key

He said creating entrepreneurs was key, seeing that 80% of employment comes from small enterprises. “We have decided to invest in the private sector to create thousands of job opportunities,” he said.

“The sectors that would contribute significantly to the programme include economic growth in demand sectors such as agriculture, ICT, construction, engineering, manufacturing, education, transport and mining.”

Nxesi said only substantial economic growth will save the country from the huge unemployment challenge.

However, economist Dawie Roodt said it didn’t matter what plan the government tried to come up with, because the people have lost trust in the government.

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Country run by ‘destructive and incompetent’ government

He said the reason why South Africa had such a high unemployment rate was because the country was run by a destructive and incompetent government. “The only ideology the ANC has is lining its own pockets.

“The government is so incompetent that it couldn’t even fill a bath with water,” he said.

Unemployed Phillip Maraima, 26, said he sits at a busy street corner every day waiting for a painting or paving job. He was one of thousands of unemployed foreigners who fled to SA searching for a better future.

Maraima lives in Mamelodi and travels to Equestria daily by taxi or foot to join others at the busy traffic circle where he hopes to land a job for the day.

“Sometimes weeks pass and I don’t get a job. Two to three weeks of waiting for nothing,” he said.

ALSO READ: Nxesi fails to get gag order as case to cancel R5 billion UIF deal postponed to next year

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