by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the Presidential Employment Stimulus as a fundamental shift in government’s approach to tackling unemployment in South Africa.
He announced the initiative last week as part of measures to rebuild the country’s economy battered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It involves public investment of R100 billion over the next three years.
“We are undertaking a far-reaching and ambitious public investment in human capital, with the state as both a creator and an enabler of jobs,” Ramaphosa stated.
He made the statement in his weekly letter to the nation, made available every Monday.
“We will protect and create directly-funded jobs and livelihood support interventions while the labour market recovers from the coronavirus pandemic,” he assured.
The stimulus includes a new national programme to employ teaching and assistants in schools.
There is focus on graduates, with opportunities for nurses, science graduates, artisans and others.
The stimulus will also protect jobs in vulnerable sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Support will be provided to Early Childhood Development practitioners, mainly self-employed women.
Over 74 000 small farmers will also receive production input grants.
The stimulus provides new funding to help revive the arts and culture sector.
Connectivity has been identified as a critical enabler for wider job creation.
To overcome the digital divide, the stimulus will provide affordable, high-speed broadband to low-income households through innovative connection subsidies and the expansion of free public Wi-Fi.
In conclusion, Ramaphosa said decent work was a precondition for economic growth and social stability.
“By giving effect to this fundamental right, the Presidential Employment Stimulus is making a decisive contribution to building a society that works,” he said.
– CAJ News