The Presidency has released its first progress report on the implementation of the ‘presidential employment stimulus’, which aimed to create or support 800,000 jobs in South Africa within the current financial year.
Announced as part of the country’s coronavirus economic recovery plan in October, president Cyril Ramaphosa said that the stimulus is designed to respond to the rise in unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramaphosa said that this is being achieved through an ‘unprecedented’ expansion of public and social employment, as well as through the protection of existing jobs in vulnerable sectors and support for livelihood and enterprise opportunities.
“Eleven national departments and all nine provinces are responsible for implementation of programmes supported through the employment stimulus,” the presidency said in a statement on Tuesday (1 December).
“As the progress report shows, over 400,000 opportunities have already been supported, with several programmes in the recruitment or beneficiary identification phase.”
Ramaphosa said that the remaining programmes are all on track to meet their targets. Programmes that have commenced to date include:
The Department of Basic Education has commenced employment of 300,000 education and general school assistants at schools across South Africa, providing crucial support for schools as well as valuable experience for unemployed young people;
The National Arts Council and the National Film and Video Foundation have released calls for proposals to support the creative sector and protect jobs in cultural institutions;
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition has expanded the Global Business Services incentive to enable job creation for young people in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector;
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has expanded its public employment programmes in water and energy efficiency, facilities management, waste management and the Welisizwe Rural Bridges programme;
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries has expanded its public employment programmes in natural resource management, environmental protection and infrastructure;
“The speed and scale at which the presidential employment stimulus has been implemented demonstrates government’s commitment to act with urgency to support South Africa’s economic recovery,” the presidency said.
The presidency said it will provide regular updates on the progress of these programmes.