The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes the recent release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey that indicates that the province’s unemployment rate has increased from 26.4% in the second quarter to 33.7% in the third quarter.
This is concerning given the fact that Gauteng is the economic hub of the country.
Premier David Makhura is always boasting about the job opportunities that will be created through the Tshepo 1 Million programme. It is clear that this programme is not working and that this is just a public relations exercise. Previously the DA highlighted that the Office of the Premier had failed to meet its target of training 200 000 economically excluded youth as part of the Pathways to Earning through the Tshepo 1 Million programme. Programmes like Tshepo 1 Million are important as its main aim is to assist the youth with skills training, job place and entrepreneurship development.
Furthermore, entities like the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller continually fails to provide support to small businesses on a quarterly basis. For the last financial year, this entity failed to meet its targets which were to provide support to small enterprises through the provision of loans, the youth accelerator programme and the acquisition of GEP automated business development support and investment management business.
The underperformance of this entity is having a negative impact on its core mandate which is to promote, foster and develop small enterprises in the province.
Entities like GEP and programmes like Tshepo 1 Million play an important role in boosting the economy and helping particularly the youth to establish their own businesses, which in turns allows them to create job opportunities in their own communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic can no longer be used as an excuse for government failing to create the right environment for businesses to create job opportunities for the unemployed in the province. The country has been on alert Level 1 for some time now and most businesses are operating at normal capacity.
The DA is not convinced that there is a clear plan, but will continue to monitor the proposed mechanisms government is putting in place to assist the unemployed in finding sustainable job opportunities.