Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Gallo Images/Luba Lysol
- Gauteng’s unemployment problem was highlighted on Friday when Gauteng Chief Minister Baniaza Lesovi announced that 1.2 million people had applied for the 8,000 jobs announced by the provincial government.
- The jobs were part of Nasi Espani’s jobs campaign, which he launched on June 16.
- Lisofi denied that the vacancies were created to help strengthen the ANC ahead of the 2024 elections.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s highly publicized job placement program received a record 1.2 million applications for 8,000 vacancies across government departments in Gauteng.
Lesovi said the staggering figure symbolizes the chronic picture of unemployment faced by young people in the country’s economic hub.
The Nasi Ispani recruitment drive started on 16th June and has seen long queues of young people with CVs eager to apply for jobs in the community centres. The largest place was Nasrec in Joburg.
Lisofi described the initiative as part of the solution to the unemployment problem in the province. He used public platforms, including his Twitter page, to encourage applications.
“For the 8,000 publications that were announced, 1.2 million applications were received – 44% were male, 55% were female, and the other percentage did not announce their gender,” said Lisovy.
The Prime Minister said that there will be no further recruitment campaigns as promised due to the volume of applications.
Lisove previously stated that more job postings will be announced through July 2024.
The new vacancies will be used to take into account the 1.2 million people who have applied by creating an unemployment database.
The program has been widely criticized by opposition political parties who say it is just another initiative to give the ANC an electoral boost ahead of the 2024 elections.
The EFF and ActionSA said the recruitment drive aimed to recruit ANC volunteers.
Lisofi defended the program on Friday at a news conference and said it was not intended to help the ANC. He said the vacancies were real jobs available in the county but not yet filled.
Advertised jobs include secretaries, lawyers and nurses across the county government.
We have been accused of using this for electioneering. We all know that the elections are scheduled for around May. Our operation was scheduled to end around July 2024. There are rumors that we will abandon people after the election, but this is not true.
“Unemployment is a serious issue in Gauteng. These jobs were part of the Opportunity Creation Programme. We started with Guardians of Peace, with 6,000 permanent jobs. Recruitment was on June 16th [to fill] Vacancies funded by the government. These jobs cut across sector and occupations. We did not make this decision for political benefit. That’s why we said the team is moving quickly.”
The prime minister said that a database of the unemployed would be created, and encouraged business owners to hire people.
He said the county’s bidding process will also require those who apply to say how many people they will hire.
The unemployment rate in the country reached 32.9% in the first quarter of 2023. According to Statistics South Africa, the largest part of the unemployed were young people.