Unemployment drops in Gauteng

Monday, February 25, 2013

Johannesburg - Despite the adverse global economic conditions, unemployment in Gauteng has decreased from 28.2% in the first quarter of 2011 to 23.7% in the fourth quarter of 2012 financial year.

The province has, through its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) alone, created over 22 000 direct permanent jobs, 44 000 direct temporary jobs and 151 000 work opportunities during the 2012/13 financial year.

The number of funded vacancies filled by Gauteng provincial departments increased from 3 346 in December 2012 to 5 421 by the end of January 2013.

This was revealed by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane during the State of the Province Address on Monday.

In this financial year, Mokonyane said that the target was 196 000 EPWP work opportunities at both provincial and municipal levels. In addition, 51 000 temporary and permanent jobs will be created.

The target for these opportunities will be the youth of the province.

Mokonyane said this was one of the ways in which they were addressing youth unemployment through “effective skills development coupled with workplace experience, placement in sustainable jobs and the promotion of youth entrepreneurship".

She said so far, they have assisted over 5 000 young people through arranging internships in the public and private sector, including in critical skills areas such as ICT and artisan programmes.

This year, the provincial government, working in collaboration with business and Sector Education and Training Authorities, will ensure that a further 6 500 young people are placed in learnerships, internships and the workplace to gain experiential learning.

In pursuit of the provincial Youth Employment Strategy, government has revised the target of creating six Township Enterprise Hubs.

The focus will be on the refinement of the operating model, starting with the automotive related aspects of these hubs. The other focus areas will be on ICT, services and light manufacturing.

Mokonyane said for the province to succeed in creating employment for its residents, there needed to be short-, medium- and long-term plans put in place.

As part of its long-term solution, the province had a 2055 vision plan that sought to mobilise the growth and development of Gauteng to “new and greater heights”. It also sought to create a liveable, equitable, accessible, sustainable, prosperous and competitive province.

This would be achieved through long-term infrastructure planning and provision, the creation of sustainable, well-located and compact human settlements, and addressing the city structure.

The premier said several key projects, such as the  eThekwini-Free State-Gauteng freight and logistics corridor - which seeks to improve the movement of goods, the infrastructure development on the province's roads and the refurbishment of the rolling stock fleet by Prasa, would generate and contribute massively towards the job creation in the province.

In addition, an industrial park will be built in the Diepsloot area.  The project is estimated to be worth about R1.6 billion and will create about 15 000 jobs upon completion.

Phase one of construction is expected to commence in the next few months. - SAnews.gov.za