Home South African Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative lauded for saving jobs and creating employment

Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative lauded for saving jobs and creating employment

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Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, has commended the Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative for holding down jobs in the country.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg – Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, has commended the Presidential Employment Stimulus initiative for holding down jobs in the country.

De Lille further said that the programme had demonstrated the government’s capacity to take public employment and other forms of publicly funded support to a new level.

Phase 2 of the Presidential Employment Stimulus has kicked off with a total of R11 billion allocated by the National Treasury.

The massive injection of funds is set to support the continuation of some programmes from Phase 1 of the initiative as well as a range of new programmes.

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele alongside De Lille and the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, on Thursday led a media briefing to reflect on the outcomes of Phase One of the initiative, and outline Phase Two.

The Presidential Employment Stimulus was first announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October 2020 as part of the government’s response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gungubele maintained that more than 550 000 jobs and livelihoods had been supported to date as part of Phase One, with an overall target of 694 120 opportunities.

He added that several programmes were still being implemented, and they expected this number to increase further.

“The first phase of the employment stimulus has provided valuable lessons for what we can achieve if we set our ambitions higher if we forge strong partnerships with organisations across society, and if we work together across government,” he said.

According to Gungubele, the recruitment of 287 000 young people as school assistants was already under way and participants would be placed in November.

Phase Two would include the establishment of a new Social Employment Fund and would also support the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, including the establishment of the national Pathway Management Network, the revitalisation of the National Youth Service, and a new model of skills training for unemployed youth linked to employment.

“Unemployment is the single greatest challenge that we must confront as a society. The continued success of the employment stimulus reflects the government’s commitment to address this challenge and to support employment while the labour market recovers,” Gungubele said.

Eleven national departments were responsible for implementing programmes supported by the stimulus in Phase One.

The main objective of the stimulus is to use public investment to create jobs rapidly and at scale to provide support to those who need it most. In addition to creating jobs and supporting incomes, the stimulus aims to support local economic recovery by providing a wider stimulus for consumer spending in poor communities.

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