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Chinese enterprises jobs fair will create employment

Published Apr 12, 2022


Buyile Matiwane

Any person remotely interested in the current situation of our country will be aware that the economy in recent times has not been performing particularly well.

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Our lives have been desensitized to the point of hopelessness that must be engulfing the masses of our people, who in their numbers go as far as sleeping outside post offices around the country, the night before their grants are paid.

One of the main indicators that must worry all of us and has become the apex priority of our government is the level of unemployment and joblessness. The current rate of unemployment needs all of us to put all hands on deck in order to ensure that we spare no effort to ensure that we make a full economic recovery and get back on the path to getting our people to work and creating an environment for our people to create a better future for themselves.

The President has tabled an Economic Recovery Plan, a plan premised on creating conditions for private sector to grow the economy. A closer examination of the budget speech made by the Minister of Finance and the provincial budgets tabled thereafter, will show that there are two focus areas that will ensure that we achieve the required economic growth - the first is high infrastructure spend and the second is the strengthening of investor relations.

The situation at our doorstep paints a harrowing picture and calls for urgency and necessity for all of us to take these issues with the seriousness they deserves.

Here are some of the key statistics that we need to take a closer look at and ensure that we are able to appreciate the interventions currently under way:

*The current unemployment rate in the narrow definition is 35.3 percent and using the extended definition it is over 42 percent.

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*The youth unemployment rate in South Africa is expected to be 66.70 percent by the end of this quarter. There are 10,2 million young people aged 15–24 years, 32,4%(approximately 3,3 million) of who are not in employment, education or training – implying that close to one in three young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 years are disengaged with the labour market in the first quarter of 2021.

*The NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) rate, seen in conjunction with unemployment rates over 60%, suggests that the youth face extreme difficulties engaging with the labour market in South Africa.

In a drive to ease the pressure and present a much needed opportunity for young people in our country, there will be a jobs fair held in Midrand, Gauteng, on the 14th of April 2022.

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Over 100 Chinese enterprises have come together to host the Fair in order to present opportunities for South Africans to find employment in a range of fields that will be presented at the Fair. There will be opportunities from various esteemed international enterprises.

Some of the companies that will participate at the Fair are COSCO Shipping Africa, China Construction Bank Corporation, China Mall, Harvest Group, China Railway International Group, Hisense, SA Sales Holdings, Huawei Technologies South Africa, China Telecom South Africa and many others.

The companies will be offering nearly 20 000 jobs and there will be a signing ceremony held at the fair for jobs that have already been awarded.

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The fair will be attended by prestigious Chinese and South African guests who will include the Minister of Labour Hon. Thulas Nxesi, and Deputy Minister of International Relations. Hon. Alvin Botes. The Chinese delegation will include the Chinese Ambassador to SA, H.E Chen Xiaodong, CEO of Huawei, Mr Fan Wen and the Vice President of the South African – China Economic and Trade Association, Mr Chen Logjian.

The Jobs Fair is a very big step at showcasing the kind of partnerships and economic relations we should nurture in order to create further opportunities for our people, to gain the opportunities necessary to better themselves and create a future, more prosperous and bountiful.

The fair is a step in the right direction to give our people hope for an economic recovery that will not exclude them- that we will no longer suffer the stagnation of jobless economic growth. The Fair will hopefully inspire other companies to be proactive at resolving the very real unemployment crisis our country is dealing with.

The 14th of April 2022 it will be a definitive moment officially ushering in a new dawn of meaningful economic recovery and growth for our people and our country. At the centre of this growth and recovery will be tangible benefits for our people, our youth in particular.

Let us harness and grab with both hands the opportunities that are being presented by this initiative and nurture the relations that made possible such practical solutions to the problems that beset our people.

Truly, the future is not some place we are going. It is a place we are building, constantly and consistently. Building it with others and for the moment, for this period which is to become our history, building it with our Chinese brothers, friends and partners.

Buyile Matiwane is the Deputy President of the South African Students Congress.