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Minister says employment creation initiatives the best tonic for joblessness

by lloyd last modified 2008-09-30 17:18

Concrete job creation initiatives and not theories and debates could prove to be the most effective remedy for the rampant unemployment currently gripping the nation, Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said last night (Sat).

Released by Department of Labour on 12 April 2008

Concrete job creation initiatives and not theories and debates could prove to be the most effective remedy for the rampant unemployment currently gripping the nation, Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said last night (Sat).

 

Addressing the 10th anniversary celebrations and award ceremonies of the Jobs Creation Trust (JCT) in Johannesburg, Minister Mdladlana said society-based initiatives like the JCT had the power to provide the desired decrease in poverty levels.

 

The JCT is an employment-generating scheme that was founded in 1998 by the country’s three biggest trade union federations COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA, and funded by union members to the tune of R89 million collected from their day’s wages.

 

Commending the JCT’s on its achievements despite the humble origins, the Minister said : “If more of us could just stop theorizing and debating about the unemployment problem, and instead come up with concrete job creation programmes, maybe we could make more and faster strides in arresting the unacceptable unemployment levels”.

 

The JCT has also forged partnerships with the Development Bank of Southern Africa and various government departments.

 

“Despite the apparent partnerships already in place, I believe that the Trust should continue to explore opportunities to leverage co-funding arrangements with government departments and agencies so as to optimize the impact of the Trust’s own financial contributions.

 

“As an example, there is little justification for the Trust to use its resources to pay for skills development interventions, given inter alia the resources available for this very same purpose under the National Skills Fund and the Sector Education and Training Authorities,” the Minister said.

 

He said the spirit of workers, most of who are underpaid, in establishing the Trust, was related directly to one of the government’s critical Apex Priorities regarding the elaboration of an integrated and comprehensive anti-poverty strategy.

 

To date, the initiative has spent about R53 million funding 106 projects nationwide across various sectors, with the majority located in Eastern Cape and Limpopo – two of the country’s poorest provinces.   Addressing the gathering,  JCT Chairperson – Wally Madisha attributed the growth of the fund to proper investment.  “We have managed to create 36 thousand jobs and these had a bias towards the youth, the disabled and women in rural areas.”  He said. 

 

Madisha added that the Trustees have resolved to extend to bigger projects that include production of bio-fuels.  “This project is at an advanced stage.”

 

In a further investment to youth development, the trustees have approached the University of the Witwatersrand to coach 140 youths in three European languages in anticipation of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.





 

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