The Gauteng economy needs to create 400 000 jobs consistently every year to put a serious dent on unemployment.
A massive influx of people into the country’s economic hub has placed additional pressure on Premier David Makhura’s government to create the necessary jobs to ease the burden caused by in-migration.
A little more than 16‚200 people monthly have moved into Gauteng in search of economic opportunities in the last three years‚ raising the provincial population numbers by 585‚000 to 13.2 million people who now call Gauteng home.
Makhura — delivering his year-end political report on Tuesday in the Gauteng legislature — said second quarter figures (July-September) saw the provincial economy grow by 2.9%‚ up from 0.1% in the preceding three months.
Gauteng registered the highest number of jobs created (126‚000) in the second quarter compared to 93‚000 jobs in the Eastern Cape and 49‚000 in the Western Cape.
Despite the jobs created‚ unemployment dropped by a paltry 0.4%.
“Of course‚ we all know that this is not enough. We need our economy to create at least 400‚000 jobs per annum if we are to deal the scourge of unemployment‚ and the perennial challenge of rapid urban migration. We are confident that the fourth quarter of 2016 will continue the positive trajectory on jobs. It is worth remembering that in 2015‚ our provincial economy created 209‚000 jobs in the formal economy and 151‚000 jobs in the informal economy‚” said Makhura.
With South African companies said to be on an investment strike — they are withholding between R500 and R600 billion in cash reserves — the Gauteng government looks set to continue to spend billions on township-based companies to spark an economic resurgence in this neglected sector of the economy‚ in the hope of creating jobs.
Makhura said his administration was developing 700 township-based suppliers‚ fitting them into the provincial supply chain and linking them with the province’s larger suppliers.
“At the end of the second quarter of this year‚ we had already exceeded the 18% target for 2016/17‚ and we spent over R6.8 billion procuring goods and services from 1‚600 township suppliers. Municipalities have also spent more than R4.2 billion on procuring goods and services from township enterprises just in the 2015/16 financial year‚” said Makhura.
The province will table a bill next year to make the Open Tender System “an Act of our Provincial Parliament”. Makhura said this would ensure that “never should it be possible for procurement processes to be flouted to favour friends or family”.