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KZN sets sights on job creation

Written by Albert Pule
KwaZulu-Natal aims to create about 2.1 million jobs for its residents over the next decade.

This is according to the province’s Premier Zweli Mkhize, who said that KwaZulu-Natal would play a leading role in ensuring that government reaches its target of creating 11 million jobs by 2030, as set out in the National Development Plan.

“As a province we accept that for the country to create 11 million new jobs by 2030, KwaZulu-Natal will have to create 2.1 million jobs. To achieve this, we have to ensure that the KwaZulu-Natal economy grows at an average of at least 4 per cent per annum between now and 2030,” he pointed out.

The province will concentrate on stimulating sectors in which it had a competitive advantage.

Premier Mkhize said the information and communication technology (ICT) sector had good growth and job creation prospects.

“The potential for job creation in the ICT sector is unbelievably high, especially in the business process outsourcing industry. The brokering unit in the Office of the Premier, together with Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal, have facilitated investment of about R2.4 billion in this sector, creating over 10 000 jobs by 10 investing companies.”

According to the Premier, the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone will also contribute to the job creation drive.

The zone is expected to conclude its infrastructure development programme and has reached agreements with two investors, who will be investing over R3.5 billion.

“This is in addition to the current Tata Steel manufacturing plant, a R1.2 billion operation providing 400 jobs,” he added.

Premier Mkhize noted that KZN was home to Africa’s biggest vehicle manufacturing components and a world leader in heavy equipment manufacturing.

The component automotive manufacturers enjoy a combined turnover of about R10 billion and employ well over 20 000 employees in KZN. This contributes significantly to the growth of the economy and sustain- able jobs, he added.

The Premier said the province had a responsibility to build its own economy, while contributing to the growth of the country’s.