President Cyril Ramaphosa Picture: Siyasanga Mbambani/GCIS
CAPE TOWN - During the 2018 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that he wanted to know the state of youth employment and unemployment. He said he wanted to know how many young people were being employed on a regular basis.

The truth is that it has been difficult for the President to know the finer details of this data until now. This week the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, launched something that may solve such an information challenge in future through the eJobs platform.

The platform is an online environment for government jobs and the new way to apply for these jobs. It is the first step towards enabling the government to recruit through digital means. For a very long time the only way to apply for a government job has been through a print form known as Z83.

According to The Infonomist column, the eJobs platform deserves the 2018 Technology Award.

In 2017 the Tech Award-worthy technology was developed by BridgIoT, which was designed to monitor and measure water usage to assist with water-saving methods.

This technology was instrumental in assisting Cape Town in dealing with the drought crisis.

The technology behind the eJobs platform is not new or out of this world. It is what it does that matters.

Unemployment in South Africa is a major challenge, particularly for young people. Solving that challenge through information should be an obsession of technologists. South Africa hasDlodlo to thank for paving the way for a paperless government. But the eJobs platform should be seen as just the beginning in this process.

The eJobs platform has the potential to become an extremely important employment data asset for the state.

It is important to know who has a job skill and who needs the skill. Whenever a person loses a job, there’s a need to connect them with an organisation that needs their skills. That is another functionality that should form part of the eJobs platform.

At any given time, employers, including the President, should have a clear view of capable people in need of jobs. Real-time information about the state of jobs in South Africa should be the ultimate goal of the eJobs platform.

During his State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa promised to host the Jobs Summit and this was done within the year 2018.

At the Jobs Summit, corporates promised to enable access to jobs for young people. What is now required is the monitoring of the job promises by corporates at the Jobs Summit. It should be possible for the President to access an app on his tablet that provides up to date data on the jobs status quo.

But the eJobs platform focuses on applications for government jobs only.

Next year there will be a need to work towards creating a system that allows people to apply for jobs across the board, public and private sector jobs.

This will go a long way to reducing unemployment.

Wesley Diphoko is the editor-in-chief of The Infonomist and founder of Kaya Labs. You can follow him on Twitter via: @WesleyDiphoko