Nasi Ispani gets R8.4bn to train half a million youths in Gauteng

Young people will be taught various skills by different organisations

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi greets some of the youths at the Nasi Ispani labour activation programme at Rhema Bible Church.
Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi greets some of the youths at the Nasi Ispani labour activation programme at Rhema Bible Church.
Image: Gauteng premier's office

The Gauteng government has partnered the department of employment and labour to introduce another leg of Nasi Ispani which the government says will result in almost 500,000 youths being trained in specialised skills before being placed in employment. 

On Wednesday, more than 7,000 youths, the first phase of the Nasi Ispani labour activation programme, gathered at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg where they filled in forms with the organisations that will provide the skills to help them find jobs. 

Speaking at the venue, the director-general of Gauteng government, Edward Mosuwe, said Nasi Ispani had enabled unemployed people to get jobs that were available in the entire provincial government sphere. In the project, more than 95,000 people found employment but some of the jobs were time bound. 

“But we saw that the need was far greater than what we had provided. We then found that the department of employment and labour was running a labour activation programme ... which was funded through the Unemployment Insurance Fund. 

“What this programme does is provide for the skilling of young people where they learn skills and, as they go through the programme, they get paid a stipend which differs for each programme,” Mosuwe said.

He said in Gauteng, the department of employment and labour identified 482,000 skills-training opportunities that will be made available to the youth. The opportunities are also open for those older than 35. 

The department has provided R8.4bn to implement the programme. Nationally, the expenditure stands at R23.7bn on labour activation initiatives. 

On April 13 and 14  unemployed youth were asked to go to schools where they could register on the employment system of the labour department, called Essa. Mosuwe said Essa had problems and the department gave provincial government forms for the youth to fill and get into the system. 

“All these young people here have filled out the forms and their names are on the Essa system. Once they submit their names with their profile, Essa is able to link their profile to job opportunities. The training is in all sectors of the economy.” 

“These are fully accredited skills programmes and the companies provincial government has partnered with are the ones who recruit for different sectors. They will be able to help with the placement of these young people into permanent jobs,” Mosuwe said.

Companies that have partnered the provincial government were at the venue to meet their prospective trainees face-to-face. Among the many sectors involved are security services, town planning, technological innovation, cosmetics, beauty, industry, farming, real estate, textiles and clothing, finance, and construction. 

The youngsters will be trained to assemble computers and fix cellphones while in the fuel retail sector, they can work as cashiers, petrol attendants and merchandisers. 

Nasi Ispani was introduced by Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi to address youth unemployment in the province. 

The move has attracted a lot of criticism from opposition parties that complained that Lesufi was using the initiative to get people to vote for the ruling party this month. .

Lesufi has rejected the criticism, saying he is dealing with youth unemployment, which is a national problem. 


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