'We are declaring war against unemployment in Gauteng'

Lesufi promises 6,000 jobs every month until July next year

Nasi Ispani moves up a gear as Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi wows youth at Orlando Stadium

Thousands of youth gathered outside Orlando Stadium in Soweto to get appointment letters for training as solar panel technicians.
Thousands of youth gathered outside Orlando Stadium in Soweto to get appointment letters for training as solar panel technicians.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi's Nasi iSpani drive moved up a gear in Soweto yesterday as he promised thousands more jobs for the youth.

Lesufi announced a string of jobs for youth gathered at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. He said the provincial government would hand out 6,000 new jobs a month until July 2024. 

Among these are 6,000 for solar technician trainees.  

In this initiative, in partnership with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority, trainees will be inducted in August and start training on September 1 in academic institutions. 

While training, depending on academic qualifications, trainees will earn R7,000 a month.

Lesufi said those employed during the Covid-19 pandemic, including thousands of teacher assistants, will get their jobs back.

“If you were employed during Covid-19 and your contract ended, I am declaring today [Thursday], come back, your appointment letters are ready for you.  

“Today we declare to those who were appointed in the Presidential Youth Initiative Programme and your contracts were ending in September, we are inviting you today that in Christmas this year you will get a salary and you will continue to work from the budget of [the] Gauteng government.  

“We are declaring war against unemployment in Gauteng. We [are] declaring war against poverty in Gauteng. We are saying we don’t want handouts and food parcels; we want jobs and those jobs must come now. We don’t want to depend on social grants.

“We want to show our enemies that opposed us in employing young people that they are wrong. People need jobs. They don’t care who you are, they just want to get employed.”

Lesufi said next month another 6,000 jobs will be on offer for people to become data capturers as the government moves from keeping information on paper to digital platforms. 

Data capturers will earn R8,000 a month. 

In October, the provincial government will look for 12,000 youth to install free internet and Wi-Fi in townships, informal settlements and hostels. 

“Today we are declaring [that] every month we will employ 6,000 people until July 2024. We are not only giving jobs. If there are young people who want to start a business, the [Gauteng] government is setting aside R900m to fund you,” he said. 

As Lesufi finished his 13-minute speech, thousands of youth who had come to the stadium gave him a standing ovation.

Lesufi's employment drive has been criticised by opposition parties as a political tactic to win the hearts of the youth before the 2024 general elections.  

On June 16, he offered 8,000 jobs in provincial departments and more than 1.2-million people applied.


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