Lesufi unveils ambitious plan to get 500 000 unemployed back to work

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi at the launch of the mass skills training programme in Johannesburg. Picture: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA)

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi at the launch of the mass skills training programme in Johannesburg. Picture: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 7, 2024


Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi unveiled a groundbreaking initiative aimed at enhancing skills training and employment opportunities in the province during media briefing at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday.

According to Lesufi, the programme’s first phase includes 55 labour activation initiatives, designed not only to provide essential skills but also to uplift Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant beneficiaries across Gauteng.

In his address, Lesufi highlighted the need for innovative solutions to combat unemployment, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which exacerbated job losses across South Africa.

In the coming weeks, the next two phases will be launched in Gauteng, in accordance with implementing a total of 105 labour activation programmes in the province.

“The new initiative will be a joint mass skills training programme between the provincial government, the Department of Employment and Labour, and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).”

Nxesi announced that his department will invest R82 billion in the programme.

Nxesi echoed Lesufi’s sentiments, emphasising the importance of collaboration between government, private sector stakeholders, and civil society to tackle unemployment effectively.

Nxesi also pledged his department's support for the initiative, emphasising the role of skills development in driving economic recovery and social upliftment.

The new initiative, named iCrush ne Lova Jobs and Skills Programme, is an expansion of the Nasi Ispani Programme which was launched in 2023 and aims to provide jobs to 480 000 people.

“The iCrush ne Lova Jobs and Skills Programme seeks to bridge the gap between the skills supply and the demands of an evolving South African job market and is the cornerstone of the provincial government’s efforts to combat unemployment and ignite Gauteng’s economy.

“The programme offers carefully selected skills training opportunities for all ages; in construction, engineering, textile, wholesale and retail, furniture manufacturing, aviation, and entrepreneurial skills, amongst others.”

Lesufi is rallying the young to apply in large numbers for an opportunity that aims to uplift nearly 500 000 unemployed in Gauteng.

"We are not taking under a 100 000 we are not taking under 200 000, we are not taking under 300 000, we are not taking under 400 000, we are taking almost 500000 unemployed people out of poverty and placing them on the path of human development.

“We are going to be one province that will tell our president thank you so much for your R350 grant, we are taking R400 000 from that grant and we are giving our people a better life,” said Lesufi.

Lesufi urged all the unemployed living in Gauteng to submit their applications at the closest school or community hall on April 13 and 14.

The Star

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