'The status quo in Joburg is not good enough'
Johannesburg – About 17 000 jobs have been created in Joburg in the fourth quarter of 2016.
This was revealed in the StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), released earlier this week.
City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said that whilst the progress in the city’s employment figures is welcomed, “we cannot afford to be complacent as there are still over 800 000 unemployed residents in our city and it is essential that job creation remains the top priority of my administration.”
Said the mayor: “The status quo is simply not good enough. Our residents who continue to suffer the effects of sluggish economic growth will not be satisfied with marginal gains – particularly the city’s youth and nor should we. When the residents of this city voted for change, they demanded an administration that would release the full potential of this city,” he said.
Joburg has set itself the task of attaining minimum of 5% economic growth and reducing unemployment to under 20% by 2021.
This priority has taken centre stage as the new administration has undertaken the budget process and will continue to do so as we plan for the city’s future.”
The rejuvenation of the inner city is key to kick-starting Joburg’s economic growth. This process will employ thousands of people, train artisans, lay billions of rands worth of infrastructure and create the high-density, urban-environment required for accelerated investment, said Mashaba.
There are now seven small, medium enterprise (SME) hubs throughout the city and our plan is to expand this to 12 over the next year.
Between August and December 2016,the city provided support to 6 193 SMEs, which is over 2 000 more than was achieved in the months preceding the elections.
“We will continue to aggressively pursue this project. We will also aggressively expand the rollout of our free Wifi network across the city.
Small businesses create jobs. They have an abundance of potential waiting to be unlocked and they have the ability to expand into employers of our people.
“We have also initiated a review of all by-laws in the city, with a focus on those by-laws that are involved in the decision-making processes pertaining to economic development. We will be throwing open our doors to make Joburg an easier and more attractive destination to do business,” he said.
A task team has also been established to fast-track investment in the city. It will measure 20 service standards critical to growing investor confidence so as to make Joburg a more competitive investment destination. This includes land use, utility services and zoning.
The revamped and rebranded [email protected] programme which will be launched in the next six months and will ensure that jobs are allocated freely and fairly will also lead to more job creation as we will be cutting out the agents who would pocket money themselves.
This money will go directly to creating more jobs, added Mashaba.