Executive Mayor of Inkomazi Municipality Mr P Magagula
CDPO of the Province Reverend Mandla Sibanyoni and the Provincial Leadership
The DDG: PES, Mr Morotoba and the PES Leadership
The Deputy Director of the Malelane Labour Centre Ms. Nompumelelo Ndlovu and members of your staff
Our VIP Guests, employers, worker representatives and community members
Ladies and Gentleman
I am honoured to address you this morning, as part of the DEL series of contact sessions with Stakeholders to help our country deal with what has certainly been a crisis of times, that of massive unemployment, both of adults and youth. This is the fourth of the current series of contact sessions, following the Northern Cape, Gauteng, and Limpopo, events which received huge support from our stakeholders as everyone recognises that solving unemployment is a collective effort, I will even go so far as to say that it is our moral responsibility.
The expanded mandate of the Department of Employment and Labour has increased our focus to employment creation and the coordination of employment efforts throughout government and its agencies. - President Ramaphosa in his June 2019 SoNA speech pronounced that “The new Department of Employment and Labour, will 'coordinate all Government efforts to create jobs and reduce unemployment'"
The Department registers more than1 million work seekers annually, and provide career counselling to more than 300000 work seekers,. We place about 60 000 work seekers into employment and learning opportunities annually. As you can see the numbers being placed compared to the number that are searching for jobs shows us the problem that we are confronted with. We are here today, to solicit your advice and commitment towards working together with us to address unemployment. We need to think out of the box, we need to move beyond rhetoric and make common pacts that can move us forward. We need to do this district by district, as you have detailed knowledge of what drives your local economy in line with your District Development model.
It is my wish that our stakeholders in Malelane will give us a huge moment that can move us forward. What can we all do to create this moment? I don't want to repeat what we all know, that Q2 2023 QLFS depicts unemployment rate of 32,9%, which compares relatively worse-off to a pre-COVID unemployment rate of 29,1%. I want to change focus to have a dialogue with those that have the answers to solve this problem, I invite you to participate in this session and give us your views.
Improving employment opportunities for young people requires a broad and concerted effort from all stakeholders. While our government is primarily responsible for creating an enabling environment for youth employment, employers, as major providers of jobs, and workers as direct beneficiaries, have an important role in the process.
The Jobs Fair that we organised at Bosh Fontein Community Hall, which I am advised that it is about 50 kilometres from here, taking place today and tomorrow, has brought together our fellow Departments to provide various services in support of our young people and institutions of learning.
Employers and your organizations have a central role in the identification (and subsequent design and implementation) of the appropriate education, training and general skills requirements that economies need. Business has a clear interest in ensuring that education and training institutions produce people with the skills they will need for the future. As key customers of the education and training system, business can help inform policy and practice across a variety of related issues. Tell me what is that you need me to facilitate to enable the employment of more people. As the Department, we have some resources that we can contribute, but more impact can be achieved if we pool our scarce resources together.
Employers of Mpumalanga, you are key on equipping school leavers, first-time jobseekers and young unemployed with the technical skills and attitudes that are required from them to become more “employable" or “suitable" for the labour market.
Employers together with Government, can collectively establish a key engine of job creation, we have to work together, to create jobs for young people on a sustainable basis, not just short opportunities which end within 6 to 12 months.
How can we expand job opportunities for young workers, and to facilitate their integration into the labour market. We are here to offer you that service free of charge.
Ladies and gentlemen, we need to work together if we want to make a difference and empower our citizens. Young people, parents, schools, industry partners, employers, schools, and municipalities, jointly we can make a difference. This Employer Job session and the Careers Fair, provides us with that opportunity to work together.
I hope you take up my challenge for a Eureka moment here in Malelane and the entire Mpumalanga. I am encouraged by the number of formal and informal industries that we see around us.
Mpumalanga as the name means "the place where the sun rises" has so much to offer with its vast agriculture and tourism, the Kruger National and other Parks. We need to hold our hands together to address the plight of more than 13.8% of the Province's population that have no schooling and unemployment rate amongst youth that is around 44%.
I THANK YOU.
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