40 000 job opportunities have been lost because the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, under the leadership of MEC Parks Tau, has missed this critical job creation target for the 2021/2022 financial year.
It is deeply worrying that the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) is dragging its feet when it comes to the empowerment of businesses through the Global Business Services programme for the 2021/2022 financial year. This information was revealed in the fourth quarterly report of the department for the previous financial year.
During the third quarter, the department claimed that it could not train and create any jobs as part of this programme, because it was unable to find a suitable space for the training to take place.
However, the DA has been reliably informed that the venue to be used was Nasrec which already has all the infrastructure needed to ensure that the training can take place.
In addition, a target of creating 10 000 jobs in the townships through the Global Business Service programme was also not met.
This is concerning as it means that the department is only embarking on a tick box exercise and is not committed to empowering our entrepreneurs and unemployed youth to become key players in the Information Technology and Communication (ICT) sector.
Programmes like this play a crucial role in ensuring that small businesses that would otherwise not be able to access the Gauteng Broadband Network can do so effectively, giving them access to the digital economy.
This is critical now more than ever, given the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on how businesses are now run.
The DA will be tabling questions to the MEC for Economic Development, Parks Tau, to ascertain exactly how these targets will be met in the 2022/2023 financial year.
Currently, there are at least 2.7 million unemployed people in the province. This programme will play a pivotal role in making a dent in this number, especially amongst our unemployed youth. Furthermore, this will also go a long way to curbing crime in our communities as many unemployed people fall prey to criminal activities in a bid to put food on the table.
Accessing the digital economy, particularly for our youth, is important especially if businesses which operate in the township want to expand their client base which will lead to more jobs being created.