by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa’s Presidential Employment Stimulus has reached a whopping one million participants as it continues to create the desperately needed jobs for the country.
The program was launched two years ago as a move aimed at stimulating economic recovery, saving jobs while creating opportunities for the youths and women.
“The Presidential Employment Stimulus has just reached the milestone of one million participants since its inception. This achievement is the result of a collaborative effort across government and the wider society, including the private sector, community-based organisations and many others,” president Cyril Ramaphosa said.
In his weekly letter, the head of state said the Presidential Employment Stimulus was successful in creating jobs and supporting livelihoods as part of supporting the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The programme is contributing to employment creation while the economy takes time to create recover and create jobs at the scale we need. As we pursue economic growth to deliver decent and sustainable employment at a much larger scale, we will continue to build on the success of the Presidential Employment Stimulus and expand its reach. It is still very much needed to complement recovery of the job market. It also supports that economic recovery in important ways,” the president said.
Ramaphosa said the lack of work experience was a major barrier to finding work pointing out the programmes were providing high-quality work experiences.
He said the stimulus program created 600,000 jobs for young people from 22,000 schools nationwide.
“School management, teachers and other stakeholders all agree that the contribution of the school assistants has improved the learning environment in schools. Many self-employed people found their livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic.
“The creative sector was particularly badly affected. In this sector, support was provided to people to create jobs for themselves and others. The movies, music and plays produced are now able to generate further income from the sale of rights, tickets and royalties. All of this has been contributing to the growth of the sector,” Ramaphosa said.
He said the Presidential Employment Stimulus also supported sustainable livelihoods with over 140,000 subsistence farmers receiving production input vouchers to assist them to resume and expand production after the disruptions of COVID-19.
He cited 36-year-old Phindile Ngcoya from Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal as one of the beneficiaries of the Presidential Employment Stimulus as one of ten members of a family farming cooperative that boosted the new cooperative to survive and become profitable.
“The Presidential Employment Stimulus is also supporting graduates, with opportunities provided to nurses, science graduates, artisans and others. Twenty six universities are helping to place unemployed graduates in work relevant to their qualifications.
“The Department of Science and Innovation has introduced a range of innovative citizen science programmes, such as the Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust, which employs local youth as Enviro-Champs to empower communities to rehabilitate local water sources. Another programme by the department helps entrepreneurs to develop business proposals in the green economy,” president Ramaphosa said.
Public employment programmes also have a direct positive impact on communities because they create work for the common good. In the case of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, this includes improving learning in schools, upgrading informal settlements, supporting survivors of gender-based violence, environmental conservation and innovating in waste-recycling.
President Ramaphosa called upon business to hire these young people with newly-acquired work experience as they left these programmes.
“Once employers see the Presidential Youth Stimulus as a place to find young talent, then we will be able to realise the full potential of this innovative and hugely successful initiative,” president Ramaphosa said..
– CAJ News