“Our firm commitment to radically reduce unemployment and in particular, youth unemployment has spurred us on to look at new initiatives and interventions to achieve this objective,” KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said.
Delivering his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Wednesday, the Premier said the province will launch a programme called Sukuma 10 000 in the coming financial year.
“This programme, which will be coordinated in the Office of the Premier, will cut across all departments, spheres of government, private sector, tertiary institutions, parastatals and other quasi-government organisations, aiming at creating 10 000 new job opportunities,” Premier Mchunu said.
This programme will benefit youth, women and people with disabilities in the province.
The province is also partnering with the Sustainable National Youth Service (SNYS) project as a component of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).
“The SNYS project focuses on the maintenance of government facilities such as hospitals, schools, clinics and other community buildings.
“In this manner, we can ensure that we create opportunities for our young people to be skilled while they are employed to perform much needed infrastructure maintenance,” Premier Mchunu said.
The Office of the Premier will support SNYS, in partnership with the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), by donating 12 mobile offices to support the rollout of the SNYS throughout the province.
“We believe that this partnership can contribute towards preparing our youth, not only for employment, but also to become responsible, proud and active citizens,” he said.
Funding youth enterprises
Furthermore, the province will launch a KwaZulu-Natal Youth Development Fund this year, which is aimed providing funding for businesses.
“We will reprioritise our current allocation to ensure that we have at least R50 million to capitalise this Fund. This Fund will provide seed funding for qualifying youth business development and will be able to accept private sector corporate social investment contributions. We have so far received overwhelming support for this concept in our consultations with our social partners,” Premier Mchunu said.
The province has over the last year created more than 41 000 full-time equivalent jobs and 166 000 work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme and other government-led job creation programmes.
The province intends to increase this number by at least a further 10% by 2020.
“The Expanded Public Works Programme and other government-led job creation programmes provide an important bridging opportunity for new entrants to the labour market.
“These programmes provide experiential work opportunities for in-service training to enable members of marginalised communities, in particular women and the youth, to prepare themselves for real, meaningful and sustainable employment,” Premier Mchunu said.
He said the provincial government is contributing towards skills development through its bursary programme.
“Provincial Departments have allocated R375 million for the next year to fund approximately 3 500 bursaries. This includes an allocation of R20 million from the Premier’s Discretionary Fund for 437 bursaries designated for orphaned and vulnerable youth,” Premier Mchunu said.
In an effort to address the housing backlog the province will focus on eight projects where the building of more than 40 000 houses are to be prioritised.
These projects include:
- R3.8 billion Amaoti Greater Housing Project in eThekwini;
- R1.4 billion Empangeni Integrated Residential Development Project in Umhlatuze;
- R457 million Hyde Park Project in iLembe;
- R1.8 billion eThekwini Inner City Regeneration Project;
- R1.6 billion Johnston Blaaubosch Cavan Project in Newcastle;
- R6.3 billion KwaMashu Bridge City Urban Hub;
- R2.9 billion Umlazi Regeneration Project; and the
- R4.2 billion Cornubia Phase 2, Project in eThekwini.