Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)
Province targets unemployment in KZN
While KwaZulu-Natal’s economy has shown positive signs of a recovery, the number of employed people dropped by 5.1% in the third quarter of 2021.
Youth unemployment also continues to rise, with around 59.3% of young people aged between 15 and 34 years unable to find jobs.
The figures were revealed by MEC for Finance, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, during her budget speech last week.
To try and combat the scourge of unemployment, the provincial government is making major investments in public infrastructure, and through initiatives such as the co-operatives and SMME financing programmes, which are aimed at increasing participation and broadening the base of the economy.
Dube-Ncube said resources have been allocated to the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) to strengthen small business development through incubation, mentorship and access to microfinance.
“We are supporting the Department of Education to ensure that schools that are part of the national school nutrition programme procure food for school feeding schemes from the local village subsistence and emerging farmers. This provides a market for the small scale farmers and inject millions to the rural economy.
“This budget will help sustain and augment the existing fresh produce markets in all municipalities and encourage the establishment of village markets for vegetable producers to sell their produce to the local villagers.”
Dube-Ncube added that provincial treasury would intensify the KZN Buy Local Campaign and would encourage South African and global retail suppliers to source most of their products and services from emerging entrepreneurs from this great province.
“We are partnering with Edtea, Proudly South African and the private sector to advocate for the buying of local products. This is to ensure that the buying power of KZN promotes buying local,” the MEC said.
KZN will also be allocating resources to allow government to provide on-the-job experience through internship and learnership programmes.