It has been a year since government adopted the New Growth Path – a broad framework that sets out a vision and identifies key areas where jobs can be created. Approved by Cabinet last October, it is aimed at addressing unemployment, inequality and poverty.
Since the adoption of government’s New Growth Path (NGP) about a year ago, almost 200 000 jobs have been created, according to the Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel.
The goal of the NGP is to create about 500 000 jobs a year, meaning five million job opportunities during the next 10 years. This will reduce unemployment from 25 per cent to 15 per cent. An important aspect of the plan is partnerships between business and government.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has created more than 60 000 jobs through its support and incentive programmes. These include initiatives such as the Enterprise Investment Programme aimed at helping businesses to grow through investment grants.
The DTI’s Tourism Support Programme is creating jobs by attracting new people to the tourism sector, particularly those who have been disadvantaged in the past.
Another DTI incentive programme, the Black Business Supplier Development Programme, helps black-owned small firms to become part of the mainstream economy and to create jobs through cost-sharing grants.
Jobs have also been created through the department’s Cooperative Incentive Scheme, which helps cooperative enterprises in the inclusive economy (formerly known as the second economy) to grow.
Film and agriculture
The DTI’s Film Production Incentive Programme has created jobs in the film industry through offices located in Cape Town, eThekwini and Gauteng. These offices are responsible for creating jobs by promoting and developing the film industry.
In the agricultural sector, more than 100 000 jobs have been created through programmes started by both the national and provincial departments of agriculture to support small-scale farmers.
The Department of Water Affairs provided full-time job opportunities to more than 30 000 people through its Working for Water and Working for Land water conservation programmes.
The department aims to increase the number of employment opportunities created through these programmes to 60 000 next year.
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has created 7 500 jobs through its National Rural Youth Service Corps, which targets young people from deep rural areas.
Minister Patel said government was planning to increase the number of work opportunities in the Community Works Programme to one million by 2014, of which up to 90 per cent could be earmarked for young people.