While unemployment soars and residents struggle to make ends meet, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has consistently failed to meet targets set for the creation of green jobs.
Green jobs aim to reduce the consumption of energy, and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas, reduce waste, pollution and restore the ecosystem. It also plays a critical role in reducing climate change.
For the second and third quarters of the 2022/2023 financial year, the department has not met its target of creating 100 green jobs, the same disappointing scenario from the 2021/2022 financial year.
The MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mbali Hlope, indicated in a written reply to our questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) of the annual target of 1120 green jobs target, only 156 have been created.
This is worrying given the fact that green jobs have the potential to be used as a means to convert waste into energy which will go a long way to minimise rolling blackouts in the province.
The failure to achieve green job targets in the past two quarters highlights the departments’ sluggish response and it is highly unlikely that it will achieve its annual target of creating 600 green jobs for this financial year.
Through the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture at the GPL, we will be raising this matter. The DA will continue to pressure the MEC to put a plan in place so that these targets can be met. Creating green jobs is of vital importance if we want to address issues like climate change and the rehabilitation of our wetlands.