The City of Johannesburg has bucked the trend and created 109 000 new jobs in the first two quarters of 2018, reducing the expanded unemployment rate from 32.3% to 30.8%.
This comes after Stats SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which shows the national expanded unemployment rate has reached 37.2% in the second quarter of 2018, with the youth bearing the major brunt.
Stats SA reported that there were two consecutive quarters of job growth in Joburg.
“The two consecutive quarters of growth is positive news that the work of the multi-party government is beginning to generate the environment for job growth. It is positive especially to the nearly 900 000 people, many of whom are young people, who need hope of a better future,” said City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba.
However, the mayor said Johannesburg’s growth has taken place at a time when 418 000 more people joining the ranks of the unemployed nationally, and 115 000 more in Gauteng over the same period.
“Since coming into office, our multi-party government has worked to stimulate Joburg’s economy and kick-start a period of growth that will lead to sustained growth in jobs. The focus in now on infrastructure renewal, stability of services, re-establishing the rule of law and moving towards a professional civil service,” said Mayor Mashaba.
The City has also achieved a record R8.7 billion in investment in the 2017/18 financial year, exceeding the targets by over R3 billion. He said the City was also fighting crime
and has declared corruption public enemy number one in Joburg. The City has established the Group Forensics and Investigation Services Unit, which has uncovered over 3 500 cases of corruption and maladministration involving close to R18 billion.
“For the first time in the City’s history culprits of wrong doing are facing the consequences. The increase of capacity at the JMPD force through the recruitment of the additional 1 500 JMPD officers and the launch of Operation Buya Mthetho are restoring confidence in the rule of law.
“Operation Buya Mthetho has been pivotal with over 8 000 arrests by our law enforcement officials since January,” said Mayor Mashaba. The roll out of Opportunity Centres is beginning to assist budding entrepreneurs with crucial skills and support for growing their businesses so that they in turn can create job opportunities.
The City aims to create 14 Opportunity Centres through Johannesburg, two in every one of the seven regions throughout the City of Johannesburg, by 2021.
The revitalisation of the inner city is another intervention through which Joburg hopes to create more jobs.
Last month, the Joburg Council approved the release of an additional 71 properties for mixed-use development. This is on top of the 13 properties released last year.
“By attracting investment from property developers and turning our inner city into a construction site, we will create jobs during as well as post-construction.
Training opportunities will also be created for 300 young would-be artisans, who would then go on to ply their trade and earn a decent living.