Minister Thulas Nxesi promises jobs in new R23.8 billion plan

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 5, 2024


Cape Town - Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has announced a R23.8 billion employment plan designed to create 704 000 job opportunities across the country.

Briefing the media on Thursday, Nxesi said the UIF–Labour Activation Programme would provide opportunities that run between 12 and 36 months.

The money invested would be recouped by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) through contributions and revenue generated from investments.

“There is this saying that ‘the proof is in the pudding’.

“The UIF has proven that it is capable of employing strategic measures, such as the Covid-TERS benefits, and distributing R64bn to millions of laid off workers and their families during the pandemic while remaining financially sound,” said Nxesi.

“With 333 recommended projects to provide training, small enterprise support, and employment opportunities to 704 000 unemployed people, these projects will be launched over the coming weeks, starting with 55 projects in Phase One for Gauteng province this coming Saturday, April 6, at the Nasrec Expo Centre.”

He said the opportunities would be created over 22 sectors – agriculture, services, IT, construction, engineering, wholesale and retail, safety and security, hospitality, social services, textiles, transport, furniture manufacturing, education, energy, food and beverage, health and wellness, aviation, insurance, jewellery, hygiene, arts and culture, and the financial sector.

“Details of other launches and the impact that will be derived from these projects will be communicated on an ongoing basis.

“This demonstrates our serious commitment to creating employment opportunities for our people and to embed these processes and programmes into the future,” said Nxesi.

He said the government’s response to the challenge of unemployment was critical.

“Yes, at the end of the day, only substantial economic growth and development will rescue the country from the huge unemployment challenge. But, in the meantime, we also believe that government, working with all stakeholders, has a major role to play in mitigating unemployment and creating and preserving jobs. So today we are announcing the launch of our UIF—Labour Activation Programme —Training for Employment and Entrepreneurship programme,” he said.

Co-founder of SOOQ, Laverne De Jager, said in order to create jobs, more investment was needed to build sustainable small businesses.

[email protected]

Cape Argus