City coun­cil seeks to cre­ate jobs

Cape Argus - - OPINION - PA­TRI­CIA DE LILLE Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor of the City of Cape Town

THE LET­TER “Proper jobs need to be cre­ated” by Thomas John­son on Jan­uary 15 refers. The writer is cor­rect in say­ing that I am proud of the city coun­cil’s im­ple­men­ta­tion and suc­cess with the Ex­panded Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme (EPWP).

EPWP is a na­tional pro­gramme through which tem­po­rary jobs are cre­ated while var­i­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties and ex­ten­sive train­ing em­power the work­ers by in­creas­ing their em­ploy­a­bil­ity through skills train­ing.

It is a model of em­ploy­ment that leads to poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and which stems from an agree­ment be­tween the govern­ment, busi­ness and unions.

Since 2011, the coun­cil has cre­ated al­most 160 000 EPWP work op­por­tu­ni­ties, with R555 mil­lion be­ing paid in wages to EPWP work­ers. Th­ese wages have granted im­me­di­ate poverty re­lief for poor and un­em­ployed res­i­dents.

Our own re­search has in­di­cated that th­ese wages are ploughed di­rectly into lo­cal busi­nesses, cre­at­ing lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment within com­mu­ni­ties.

Th­ese jobs not only pro­vide some fi­nan­cial re­lief but we have seen that street peo­ple and other vul­ner­a­ble groups find a sense of hope and mo­ti­va­tion to change their cir­cum­stances once they have com­pleted their EPWP work pe­riod.

I am proud of th­ese men and women who value the op­por­tu­nity given to them.

Job­seek­ers who ac­cess th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties are the kind of peo­ple for whom I have the ut­most re­spect as they are will­ing to do some­thing to change their cir­cum­stances.

Our ef­forts have also been recog­nised by the Na­tional Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works, who awarded us three Kamoso awards for the pi­o­neer­ing EPWP projects we have im­ple­mented.

For the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year, we will spend an ad­di­tional R138.6m on EPWP work op­por­tu­ni­ties.

At the same time, I am acutely aware of the state of un­em­ploy­ment in the coun­try.

The city coun­cil recog­nises the need for cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment, and one of our key strate­gic ob­jec­tives in this re­gard is to cre­ate the en­abling con­di­tions to stim­u­late eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation.

In terms of broader in­ter­ven­tions to cre­ate an en­abling eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment, I have opened a trade and in­vest­ment desk in my of­fice to serve as a one-stop shop for all in­vestors and com­pa­nies look­ing to in­vest in Cape Town.

We will help them with all the in­for­ma­tion and as­sis­tance they need to open a busi­ness in Cape Town.

We con­stantly re­ceive feed­back and we are see­ing the proof that there is more in­ter­est and more com­pa­nies are es­tab­lish­ing them­selves in Cape Town.

Last year, I opened a num­ber of fac­to­ries and of­fices where for­eign com­pa­nies are in­vest­ing in Cape Town and em­ploy­ing lo­cal labour.

One of the many suc­cess sto­ries was the GC Rieber Compact fac­tory which man­u­fac­tures ready-to-use-ther­a­peu­tic and sup­ple­men­tary foods now be­ing pro­duced in Muizen­berg and ex­ported into Africa.

This com­pany al­ready has plans in place to ex­pand its fac­tory floor space and em­ploy more peo­ple.

We un­der­stand what busi­ness needs and we are work­ing on many fronts to make it as easy as pos­si­ble for com­pa­nies to do busi­ness in Cape Town.

Those fac­tors which we can con­trol and in­flu­ence – those are the things we have taken ac­tion on.

We live in a beau­ti­ful city with a great bal­ance be­tween busi­ness and leisure of­fer­ings.

We have four ex­cel­lent univer­si­ties, so our skill base is di­verse and ex­ten­sive.

Our job as the coun­cil is to en­sure we keep the lights on, the wa­ter run­ning and that we in­vest in our roads and pub­lic trans­port to en­sure the ef­fi­cient move­ment of goods and peo­ple.

The city coun­cil and Western Cape pro­vin­cial govern­ment are mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to cre­ate the en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for busi­nesses.

We are work­ing to drive higher growth in the agri-pro­cess­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing, tourism and oil and gas sec­tors to cre­ate thou­sands of jobs.

There is a part for all sec­tors to play in cre­at­ing jobs, and for the coun­cil’s part we are com­mit­ted to this cause.

We will con­sis­tently strengthen our ef­forts and do what we can within our com­pe­ten­cies to stim­u­late eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and job cre­ation.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.