The South African government has reiterated its commitment to creating jobs in 2023. This forms part of a five-year plan by the Department of Employment and Labour which aims to create sustainable employment for South Africans.
The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) compiled by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) indicates that the country has recorded an official unemployment rate of 32.9% in the third quarter of 2023. This was one percentage point lower than the previous quarter and indicates that the unemployment rate declined slightly.
To ensure the unemployment rate continues on a downward trend, The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) has vowed to focus on employment creation and the coordination of employment efforts throughout the government.
The DEL’s five-year Strategic Plan for 2020 – 2024 provides for a shift from labour market regulation to focus sharply on employment creation and the coordination of employment efforts throughout the government and its agencies.
Over the past twelve months, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) created 14,000 jobs for young South Africans. Through the creation of these jobs, youth were also equipped with skills that are relevant to the current job market.
These skills will enable youth to become employed or pursue entrepreneurial opportunities that could create jobs for other citizens which will ultimately contribute to the economic development and upliftment of society.
The DEL believes that the number of jobs created by their agencies can and must be increased. This is possible through a more agile approach which could create sustainable employment opportunities.
“Pursuant to ensuring the continuous creation of new job and growth opportunities for our people we are obliged in our resolve to leverage on innovation, technology and novel approaches to keep up with the demands for jobs in the country” declared the department.
The department acknowledged that the viability of some job creation projects and initiatives can come with a degree of risk. However, this must not stop the department from implementing them.
They added that they are committed to continuous verification, monitoring and due diligence on projects along with their entities.
“Risks will always be there and must be identified and mitigated. We believe we do well through our contracts and agreements with job creation partners and service providers which can be cancelled at any given time, and to which processes can be instituted to recoup funds which have been spent.” concluded the DEL.
Special interest will be given by the department to each project they approve which proved an opportunity to have a positive impact on society and reduce unemployment.