Government priority: Creating decent jobs

Plans for 2014/15

Government has since 2004 run the successful Expanded Public Works Programme which provides work opportunities and training for the unemployed. The new phase will provide six million work opportunities by 2019. Around four million work opportunities were created in the past five years, President Jacob Zuma said in the State of the Nation Address of June 2014.

The Expanded Public Works programme's environmental initiatives such as working on waste, working on wetlands, working for water, working on fire and the Environmental Youth Services programme will also be upscaled up to 2019, in support of youth development.

In addition, the local government- based Community Work Programme will be expanded to provide a million work opportunities by the end of 2019.

Government identified agriculture as a key job driver. Our target is for the agricultural sector to create a million jobs by 2030.

Government will provide comprehensive support to smallholder farmers by speeding up land reform and providing technical, infrastructural and financial support.

Support will be provided to communities as well to engage in food production and subsistence farming to promote food security, in line with the Fetsa Tlala food production programme.

Update on progress and achievements for 2012/13

Employment growth

  • Employment grew by 327 000 (or 2,5%) by the last quarter of 2012. Since the first quarter of 2011, employment has grown for seven consecutive quarters.
  • Employment in the informal sector increased by 112 000, while formal sector jobs increased by 92 000 and jobs in the agricultural sector by 23 000 in the third quarter of 2012.

Job creation

  • An allocation of R1,4 billion was made to the Community Work Programme for 2012/13 and out of 171 500 work opportunities to be provided, 114 382 (67%) had been provided by the end of October. Of the total number of work opportunities provided, 71% were allocated to women, 52% to young people and 0,78% to people with disabilities.
  • The Department of Communications is implementing a digital migration policy which will result in more than 23 500 jobs created in the manufacturing value chain including installers and warehousing, logistics and repairs.
  • It has also established the e-Skills Institute to address the current shortage of and future need for ICT-related skills in South Africa and to ensure that South Africa is an e-literate society by 2030, as articulated in the New Development Plan.
  • 5% of the reserves of the Unemployment Insurance Fund have been set aside for social responsibility investment, with a focus on job creation. The Compensation Fund has made a similar allocation for investment in the healthcare industry.

Empowering the youth

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) recorded the following youth empowerment statistics, arising from its interventions:

Young people receiving non-financial interventions 36 164
Number of young entrepreneurs funded through Economic Development Programmes (NYDA Micro, SME and external partners) 1 833
Value of funding accessed through Economic Development Programmes (NYDA Micro, SME and external partners) R30 261 150.62
Number of jobs created 3 335
Number of jobs facilitated through placement in job opportunities 1 325
Number of projects supported through green economy interventions 78 projects

The Jobs Fund was announced by the President during the State of the Nation Address on 10 February, 2011. Following this announcement, the Jobs Fund was successfully launched in June 2011 by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and an amount of R9 billion Rand was set aside, to be allocated over a three year period, towards the realisation of the objectives of the Jobs Fund.

More information on the Jobs Fund is available under the Frequently Asked Questions section.

The Mid-Term Review Report [PDF] released on 1 June 2012, indicates that although Government have not created sufficient jobs to meet the demand, significant advances have been made in the coordination of growth strategies, the New Growth Path and stakeholder agreements. Government has made progress with labour absorbing industrial development strategies in manufacturing, mineral products, procurement reform and the Jobs Fund.

Budget for jobs

Government will expand its employment programmes over the next three years and continue to support job creation by the private sector, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said in the Budget Speech for 2014.

Government has spent more than R100 billion on employment programmes over the five years up to 2014, including municipal and provincial spending. More than 4 million job opportunities were funded over this time. Allocations will continue to grow strongly, and 6 million job opportunities will be created over the next five years.

To boost economic growth, transformation and job creation, the 2014/15 budget made R35 billion available for industrial development, which includes R6.5 billion for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), R5.4 billion for provincial investment agencies and R2.3 billion for various research and development support initiatives.

This funding will support the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) and its sector strategies such as the Automotive Production and Development Programme, which subsidises international vehicle manufacturers to incorporate local producers into their supply chains, and the Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Programme, which aims to counter the effects of illegal imports and increase domestic producers' participation in local and global markets.

Over the next three years, special economic zones are allocated R3.6 billion to promote value-added exports and generate jobs in economically disadvantaged parts of the country. Preparatory work is underway to attract investors to the zones through tax incentives, infrastructure enhancements and other initiatives.

Another initiative is the agricultural policy action plan to support the National Development Plan target of creating 1 million jobs in agriculture by 2030. Expenditure over the medium term will focus on improving agricultural productivity. More than R7 billion will be spent on conditional grants to provinces in support of about 435 000 subsistence and 54 500 smallholder farmers, and to improve agricultural extension services.

To boost domestic food production and reduce reliance on imports, the Fetsa Tlala initiative aims to bring an additional 1 million hectares into cultivation by 2019, creating 300 000 jobs.

The private sector remains the biggest driver of job creation, but there is also a role for government in supporting employment creation as well as providing short-term work opportunities through public and community works projects.

One such innovative approach to support for job creation is the Jobs Fund which provides a model for tackling unemployment and promoting growth by matching private sector funding for projects that will generate sustainable jobs and spur economic activity. Among the current initiatives supported by the Jobs Fund are agricultural projects working on linking farmers to agricultural produce markets in rural areas as well as projects that provide support to emerging entrepreneurs in the townships. Thus far the fund has contracted 61 projects that will receive grant funding of R3.2 billion over the next three years. These projects are expected to create 96 102 permanent jobs and place 48 933 individuals into existing jobs by 2016.

The other approach is that of the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) [PDF] which was launched in January 2014 as an incentive that subsidises the salaries of newly recruited workers aged 18-29. The ETI should support a total of 240 000 jobs over the next three years.

The drive to create jobs

President Jacob Zuma announced in the State of the Nation Address for 2011 that all government departments will align their programmes with the job creation imperative. The provincial and local government spheres were requested to do the same, and 2011 was declared a year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth.

President Zuma said that research had indicated that we could create jobs in six priority areas: aluminum industry

  • infrastructure development
  • agriculture
  • mining and beneficiation
  • manufacturing
  • the green economy
  • tourism.

The 2011 Budget proposed a range of measures to accelerate employment creation over the period ahead, including R9 billion that has been set aside over the next three years for a Jobs Fund to co-finance innovative public- and private-sector employment projects.

Government initiatives

  • The Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) [PDF] encourages youth employment.
  • The Gauteng Department of Social Development has launched the first of 20 job centres to address unemployment and poverty among the province's youth.
  • Government established a jobs fund of R9 billion to finance new job-creation initiatives over the next three years.
  • The Industrial Development Corporation has a number of schemes to boost job creation.
  • The campaign to pay SMMEs on time, within 30 days, is proceeding well. The Department of Trade and Industry payment hotline (0860 766 3729) received about 20 000 calls in the 2010/11 financial year, and the value of payments facilitated was R210 million. Other departments have launched their own initiatives, for example the Re Ya Patala (We Pay) initiative of the Department of Public Works (0800 782 542).
  • In communications, television and radio signals will be converted from the analogue platform to the more advanced digital signal which will enable quality pictures and sound. This process will create jobs in manufacturing, packaging, distribution and installation.
  • The hosting of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope has already provided construction job opportunities in the Northern Cape and will continue to do so.
  • Through the combined programmes of business support, enterprise financing and labour intensive activities in the social sector, 3 335 new jobs were facilitated by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in 2012/13.
  • The Department of Public Works has set aside R210 million in 2011/12 to hire and train unemployed people to fix potholes, build low bridges and maintain public garden spaces following the recent floods across the country.
  • Government has put President Jacob Zuma’s job-creation plans into action by announcing the creation of 120 000 permanent jobs in infrastructure development. The organisations that have been earmarked to create jobs include Eskom and the departments of water affairs and of environmental affairs.
  • The Department of Transport are creating 70 000 jobs in a R6,4-billion project to repair potholes. The project is part of a new labour-intensive road-maintenance programme called S'hamba Sonke (walking together). A total of R22,3 billion will be spent between February 2011 and April 2014.
  • Initiatives are under way to promote rural employment, such as the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC), and provide stepped up support for agricultural producers.
  • The Community Work Programme (CWP) is an innovative offering from government to provide a job safety net for unemployed people of working age. This programme created more than 79 000 work opportunities up to the second quarter of 2011/12, benefitting women and the youth particularly from the poor rural families. In addition, the Human Settlements Programme created over 50 000 direct jobs, 4 653 indirect jobs and 21 446 induced job opportunities.
  • The Minister of Labour approved various initiatives aimed at creating employment through training and re-skilling of workers in order to give them capacity to compete in the open economy.
    • Productivity South Africa’s social plan. Funds were committed in this financial year towards the Social Plan with the aim of saving a further 20 000 jobs.
    • Funding for the training of the Unemployed scheme. The scheme is aimed at developing skills in specific artisan trades with a view to trainees being eventually employed and possessing scarce skills. The training for the Unemployed scheme is done in partnership with the various sector education and training authorities (SETAs).
  • Vuk'uzenzele has a regular section with employment news.

Government programmes supporting job creation

  • Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) - provides poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed. EPWP includes the Home-Based Community Care and Food for Waste Programmes.
  • The New Growth Path (NGP) - aimed at enhancing growth, employment creation and equity.
  • the dti provides financial support to qualifying companies in various sectors of the economy. Financial support is offered for various economic activities, including manufacturing, business competitiveness, export development and market access, as well as foreign direct investment.
  • The Small Enterprise Finance Agency fosters the establishment, survival and growth of SMMEs and contribute towards poverty alleviation and job creation. It was was established in 2012 as a result of the merger of South African Micro Apex Fund, Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd and the small business activities of IDC.
  • The Department of Environmental Affairs has a number of job creation projects, including:
    • Working for Water - eradicates invasive alien vegetation to conserve water and the environment, providing jobs and training to approximately 20 000 people per annum.
    • Working on Fire is a multi-partner organisation focused on integrated fire management and veld and wild fire fighting, combined with the need to create jobs and develop skills.
    • Working for Wetlands uses wetland rehabilitation as a vehicle for job creation, skills development, and the wise use of wetlands.
  • The South African Decent Work Country programme - through this programme, the International Labour Organisation and government, organised business, organised labour and the community constituency give support to initiatives aimed at promoting the decent work agenda.

Finding a job

For every job available, you will always have to compete with other job-seekers. This information should help you to find a job, write a CV, prepare you for the interview and starting the job. You can also find information on how to start a business.

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