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January 2021 edition

Government opens up the job market

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Over 800 000 jobs will be created by the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme. 

The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP), led by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and the Presidency’s Project Management Office, will see government invest R12.6 billion into job creation programmes and projects in the current financial year.

The stimulus programme is part of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan.

Lwandile Sawhule (30), a beneficiary of the PESP, now has a job after being unemployed for five years. Sawhule, a clerk at Mavuso Primary School in Nqamakwe in the Eastern Cape, says his salary will help him support his son, buy groceries and subsidise the upkeep of his livestock.

“The programme is very important as I have been able to find a job in my community. We live in a rural area where jobs are few and far between,” he says.

The Presidency and Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), through the Industrial Development Corporation, will champion the Social Employment Fund that aims to find employment for 35 000 people. The dtic will also support 8 000 services sector development incentives.

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille says: “The Department of Social Development (DSD) will support over 100 000 early childhood development practitioners with an investment of R588.7 million from government for income support, job retention and registration support programmes.”

The reappointment of 994 social workers is also on track, and a further 815 unemployed social workers are being recruited.

The stimulus programme will also see:

  • the DPWI create 1 560 job opportunities through the professional services programme;
  • the Department of Basic Education recruit 344 933 teaching assistants and support staff for schools;
  • the DSD’s income relief, job retention and registration support programme assist 111 142 people;
  • the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development provide support to 74 626 farmers through the Subsistence Producer Relief Fund;
  • the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries invest over R1.9 million to create 50 311 jobs;
  • the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture support the creative, cultural and sport sectors in creating 34 070 jobs;
  • the National Department of Health create 5 531 jobs by expanding the community health workers, outreach team leaders and nurses programme;
  • the Department of Transport’s Provincial Roads Maintenance Programme create 37 079 job opportunities;
  • the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs create 25 000 jobs;
  • the Department of Science and Innovation’s graduate programmes create 1 900 jobs;
  • 5 000 youth-owned enterprises being supported by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities; and
  • provincial governments contributing 50 000 jobs and metros 32 663.