Regional Focus: Transforming Kwa-Zulu Natal Through Job Creation

By Jessie Taylor 

Thousands of jobs have been created through the flagship project S’thesha Waya Waya by the KwaZulu-Natal government as it looks to reduce the levels of unemployment in the province. The campaign was introduced as a way to create job opportunities through the provincial government on the back of the commitment by the premier to improve the province’s unemployment rate.

The S’thesha Waya Waya Way

The groundbreaking campaign is part of the government’s interventions to reduce unemployment among youth in the province. The S’thesha Waya Waya (meaning “working throughout”) campaign has already seen thousands of young people employed. The programme comes on the back of a commitment by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube during her State Of The Province address earlier this year, in which she said that all provincial government departments will set aside funds to combat unemployment.

Premier Dube-Ncube said the programme has changed lives by placing food on tables. She added that the overarching goal of the province is to eliminate unemployment across all districts. As part of the campaign, Premier Dube-Ncube has also launched the eMisebenzi/e-Recruitment Portal, an online jobs platform that consolidates all provincial government vacant job opportunities, including the stateowned agencies. The online platform, which is accessible to the public from any location, has a multitude of job opportunities. At the time of the launch, there were more than 2 000 permanent jobs from various departments available on the platform. It can be accessed via The KZN Goverment Website

“As we stated during the State of the Province Address and subsequent Budget Votes, job opportunities for young people and mass employment for all has been identified as one of the key priorities of our term [and] government has a critical role to intervene on behalf of the vulnerable especially in times of crisis,” said Premier Dube-Ncube. “The positive response we have received thus far is truly encouraging, and we anticipate that this endeavour will have a transformative impact on lives. We also urge all beneficiaries to take advantage of training opportunities that will enhance their skills and broaden their prospects for future roles. We further encourage individuals to leverage the S’thesha Waya Waya programme when applying for suitable job positions,” she added.

A Focus On Job Creation and Increasing Employment Opportunities

S’thesha Waya Waya is spearheaded by the Department of Transport and forms a significant part of the Jobs War Room, a comprehensive initiative by the provincial government to increase job opportunities and battle poverty and inequality. In her State of the Province address, Premier Dube-Ncube said the province had established a Jobs War Room to facilitate job opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme across sectors in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Having identified jobs as a priority, the province established a Jobs War Room, which has now facilitated over 500 000 job opportunities, especially through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) across sectors in KwaZulu-Natal. Through the departmental programmes in the 2022/23 financial year, 89 297 jobs were created, and over 292 248 jobs will be created in the 2023/24 financial year,” she said.

KwaZulu-Natal is currently among the provinces with an unemployment rate below the national average. In the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics SA, KwaZulu-Natal recorded a 31% official unemployment rate and a 46,9% expanded unemployment rate in the first quarter of the year. In comparison, the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, shows that the official unemployment rate nationally decreased by 0.3% from 32.9% in the first quarter of 2023 to 32.6% in the second quarter.

During the second quarter, the province saw employment increase by around 48 000 jobs – one of the top three highest increases recorded for the quarter. The improved job creation in the province serves as a testament to Premier Dube-Ncube’s vow to set the province on a path of recovery following Covid-19, floods and unrest in the province, through “concrete projects and programmes that will change the fortunes of KwaZulu-Natal”.

“The trials of the past three years forged us into a stronger province, and we are accelerating the pace of economic development, the creation of jobs, and eliminating poverty and suffering among the people of our province,” said Premier Dube-Ncube.

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