Labour allocates R23bn for job creation

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. File picture: GCIS

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. File picture: GCIS

Published Apr 6, 2024


The department of labour is allocating R23 billion for job creation through the newly launched Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Labour Activation Programme (LAP).

Acting Director General Onke Mjo, said the money was coming from UIF reserves, adding that it was a contribution that was saved from the contributors.

“It is indeed money that comes from the contributors, but the money was not necessarily meant for people applying for UIF. There are challenges in terms of the process claimed being delayed and it takes a very long time for their claims being processed.

“We apologise for the inconvenience that is caused to all of the clientele of the UIF that goes through this. We are however putting systems in place to improve our efficiency in the claim and application process,” the acting DG said.

Mjo said the department had gone through various phases of improvement and development to make it easy for clients to put in their claims without any delays.

She explained that the mandate of the UIF went beyond the claims made by unemployed formal contributors of the fund.

The UIF Act of 2005/2016 amendments gave the fund the mandate to put strategies together to help contributors who lose their jobs to be supported.

“These funds and reserves are precisely to help those who were contributors in making sure they are able to go back into the employment market.”

Mjo said the department took time before paying out a claim to ensure that the funds were properly paid to the correct beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the LAP which which will provide training for employment and entrepreneurship programmes, would be rolled out in stages across the country's nine provinces, starting in Gauteng.

It will entail 333 recommended projects to provide training, small enterprise support and employment opportunities to hundreds of thousands of unemployed people, and was not age-constrained.

The phase one of the project is expected to be launched on Saturday in Gauteng, at the Nasrec Expo, with 55 projects to be launched.

More information about these projects would be provided with an introduction to all of the service providers that would be providing training and employment opportunities, as well as how each project would work.

Announcing the program on Thursday, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi admitted that the project was not a “silver bullet” to end the challenge of unemployment, but that a viable force multiplier that could be used, together with other initiatives and interventions, as part of the response to mitigate joblessness.

He said the money invested would be recouped by the UIF through contributions and revenue generated from investments.

Saturday Star

[email protected]