The City of Johannesburg earlier this year announced its R1 billion scheme called Jozi@Work. This is part of the City’s efforts to increase the level of skills and job opportunities in its 11 regions.
The programme also hopes to lower the barriers of entry for the City’s poor and middle class residents so they too can participate in the economy and turn job seekers into job creators.
According to Trevor Fowler, Joburg City Manager, the programme will elevate the traditional approach to SMMEs to a whole new level.
“With some 800, 000 unemployed work-seeking adults in the city failing to secure a livelihood, we believe this project could go a long way in decreasing this number,” said Fowler.
Here is everything you need to know about the Jozi@Work programme:
What is Jozi@Work?
This is a R1 billion project in City contracting serviced which will benefit an estimated 1, 750 new and existing community level co-operatives and enterprises. The scheme is expected to create some 12 500 permanent jobs through the creation of co-operatives and small businesses.
Later this year, the programme will expand to include back office support to improve the functioning of City services as well as a 10% slice of the City’s maintenance work and 5% of its capital construction. There’s an expected total of 40, 000 new jobs servicing the City’s spend across 9 sectors by the close of the current Mayoral term of office which ends in 2016.
Who is expected to benefit?
In his 2014 State of the City address, Mayor Parks Tau said the contracted enterprises would be servicing the city’s utilities and agencies such as the Johannesburg Roads Agency, Pikitup, City Power and Joburg Water. They will also do jobs such as separating and recycling waste, providing food for the urban nutrition programmes, desludging chemical toilets, resurfacing and maintaining roads and providing frontline support to water and power infrastructure agencies.
How will it work?
Small and micro entrepreneurs, in both higher-income and impoverished areas will be able to pitch for city business through a simplified and streamlined processes. This will include a new supply chain process that has been developed in consultation with Treasury, through which the city would source community-based enterprises and co-operatives through regional bidders.
Also, capability support agents will be appointed to provide oversight and mentoring to ensure quality standards are adhered to. These agents will ensure that the providers will be able to buy the raw material they need and rent equipment.
Longer-term support for the new companies will include capital financing, advisory services, and training on how to run their businesses with other public sector institutions and the private sector. Service delivery will be more localised, resulting in better turnaround times and improved levels of accountability. Both high-income and poor communities would benefit.
When does it launch?
The first regional forum meetings are to start in the first week of next month following a public education programme which takes place this month. The city intends to start an apprenticeship programme for workers to improve their skills.