R11bn more allocated to presidential employment stimulus — How do you rate what’s been achieved to date?

More than 550,00 young people have benefited from the stimulus package, more than 390,000 jobs have been created and more than 40,000 retained

15 October 2021 - 10:30
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele reported on what has been achieved by the presidential employment stimulus programme.
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele reported on what has been achieved by the presidential employment stimulus programme.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The presidential employment stimulus package aimed at supporting public employment, job retention and livelihood support programmes in response to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has received an additional R11bn from the Treasury.

Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele this announced at a media briefing on Thursday. 

“Phase two has commenced with a total of R11bn allocated by the Treasury. This will support the continuation of some programmes from phase one and a range of new programmes,” he said.

The employment stimulus programme was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in October last year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time R100bn was allocated to the fund, with R13bn set aside for this year and R83bn to be allocated over the next three years. 

More than 550,00 people have benefited from the stimulus package, more than 390,000 jobs have been created and morae than 40,000 have been retained. 

Here’s what has been achieved to date in five departments, according to the progress report.

Rate whether you think it is a win for the country or a “waste” of resources that could have been better used elsewhere.

Transport 

A total of R630m was allocated to improving access to services. More than 10,000 people have been employed for rural roads maintenance. Most beneficiaries are males, at 49%, while 34% are females.

The North West has created the most job opportunities at 5,480. The report said provincial governments have experienced teething challenges in the planning phase but the programme continues with 4,334km of rural roads maintained in the provinces.

Sports, arts and culture

A total of R665m was allocated in the sector, which is tasked with supporting programmes, including the audit of national museums and digitisation of records.

Young people are the main beneficiaries of these programmes, which were extended to April and June respectively.

The report said the provision of support to arts and culture practitioners experienced challenges after the National Arts Council's (NAC) allocated monies that exceeded the total available funds for the programme.

To date 42,623 people have benefited from the programme.

Basic education 

The programme has benefited more than 300,000 young people who have been hired as general and teaching assistants. All beneficiaries hired as education assistants in the first phase were between 18 and 35 years old and 99% of the same age group were hired as general assistants.

The programme also protected vulnerable teacher posts across the schooling system and managed to retain 69% of their jobs. According to the report, the fund was undersubscribed and the money was reallocated to extending the contracts of teaching assistants in some provinces.

The budget allocated to basic education amounted to R7bn.

Healthcare 

Government allocated R180m to hire nurses and auxiliary nurses in the fight against Covid-19.

A total of 4, 758 nurses were hired but the programme experienced significant challenges with hiring community health workers and outreach team leaders. 

“The department faced severe constraints related to rollout in the time frames and the programme was not implemented,” said the report.

Social development 

Successes and challenges were reported in the social development programme. A total of R7bn was set aside to support initiatives, including the registration of support officers, provision of early childhood development (ECD) income and compliance support and retaining jobs of social workers.

The registration of support officers was not implemented due to challenges in the planning phase, while more than 32,000 ECD centres have received financial assistance.

The retention of social workers is on track with 62% of those between 18 and 35 retaining their jobs to date.


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