“We will create more jobs for our people” DD Mabuza at SOPA

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Job creation was a major focus for Mpumalanga’s outgoing Premier David Mabuza at his last State of the Province Address (SOPA). He promised Mpumalanga’s people that his government would work tirelessly to create jobs in the province.

According to statistics over the last decade, the unemployment rate has risen from
20% to 27% throughout the country with Mpumalanga at 28.9% in 2017.
“We must find solutions to resolve this challenge so that every child of Mpumalanga
can have a place under the sun. “The economic reality we are faced with is that unemployment and poverty have in recent past been compounded by low levels of investment in the South African economy,” said Mabuza. According to the premier, the high
unemployment figure further highlighted the relationship between low levels of education
and inadequate skills, with poor prospects for employability.

We must  FInd solutions
to resolve this challenge
so that every child of
Mpumalanga can have a
place under the sun

“It is precisely for this reason that we have prioritised skills development as a pillar for
our development. Therefore our fight against unemployment especially among the youth
cannot be divorced from a comprehensive programme on education and skills
development,” he said. Mabuza said his government would continue to interact with all role players to find way of bringing investors to the province.
He said the expansion of Exxaro coal operations in the Belfast are was one of the
projects to do just that.

This would mean an added R4.3 billion in the province to extend the life of the
Klipspruit Colliery by approximately 20 years. He said this financial injection would
ensure employment of approximately 740 people and will create 4 000 additional jobs
during the construction phase.

According to Mabuza, the provincial government has set aside resources to support the Youth Miners Incubation Programme as part of broadening youth participation and ownership of mining assets. “In partnership with industry players, we will support our youth in mining to
access prospecting and mining rights and ensure that this sector makes a meaningful
contribution to youth development.”

The Agricultural sector is one of the sectors that will also continue to play a major role in creating jobs in the province, said Mabuza. He said the building of the new Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market would also assist emerging farmers to grow their businesses and create jobs. During the course of 2017, the Mpumalanga Enterprise Development Fund in Partnership with Standard Bank was launched.
The aim of the project is provide support to the growth and competitiveness of small
businesses.

An amount of R300 million has been set aside over the next three years for the financing of SMME’s which have agreements with the provincial government, Mabuza said.