Thulas Nxesi, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has launched an R551 million job creation programme that would benefit over 20,000 people.
It will focus on programmes such as skills development, job creation and support for entrepreneurs.
Benefactors of the project
Nxesi said the UIF, through its labour activation programmes , had set aside the money for 19,921 beneficiaries — 70% of whom are former UIF contributors who lost their jobs — to undergo training in the following skills disciplines:
- 14,771 beneficiaries as chief food handlers;
- 5,000 beneficiaries in enterprise development (mixed farming); and
- 150 beneficiaries as fibreoptic technicians.
“In light of the added employment mandate to our department, we are urging the private sector and all potential stakeholders to partner with us to reduce and end unemployment in the country because partnerships are key to creating jobs.
“Therefore, all UIF training projects must be linked to employment creation because we do not want learners to idle at home upon completion of training,” said Nxesi.
Not wasting the opportunity
Director-general of employment and labour Thobile Lamati said the department was committed to playing its role in creating jobs.
“We are worried about the growing unemployment in the country,” said Lamati.
“However, we pledge to play our role in projects such as this which includes jobs, especially for young people. To the learners, I urge you not to waste this opportunity because it comes once in a while.”
Job opportunities after training
Speaking at the launch, Fuze’s CEO Thandi Ngcobo said 14,771 beneficiaries had been employed by the department of education in KwaZulu-Natal after completing their training.
She said the department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs in the province had pledged to support 5,000 learners’ co-operatives by purchasing their farming produce while Link Africa had committed to employing 150 beneficiaries as fibreoptic technicians on completion of their training.
Ngcobo added that the mixed farming learners would focus on poultry, pig farming, vegetables and eggs.