Mpumalanga employment numbers up

20 000 people were employed in the last financial year while in other provinces the figures went down.

The Mpumalanga province was able to make gains in employment numbers, creating 20 000 jobs while national employment figures dropped.

Compared to last year’s statistics, Free State lost 48 000 jobs, Eastern Cape 31 000 while the North West shed 4 000.

Nationally, there are 9.8 million unemployed people in South Africa, of which 6.2 million are actively looking for work.

Employment gains were recorded in seven of the nine provinces in 2018.

The largest employment increases were recorded in Limpopo where 41 000 people were employed, giving that province an 18.9% unemployment rate compared to Mpumalanga (32.5%), Eastern Cape (35.6%), Free State (36.3%) and Gauteng (29.6%).

In Northern Cape the unemployment figures sit at 27% while Western Cape is at 20.4%, KZN 23% and North West 28%.

Gauteng added 22 000 jobs with Mpumalanga trailing at 20 000 followed by the Free State at 14 000.

The 14 000 employed in Free State this year is against the 48 000 people that were recorded as employed last year, one of the biggest loss.

Compared to last year, employment increased in KZN – recording the largest employment increase of 98 000 persons, followed by Western Cape with 95 000.

The national official unemployment rate increased by 0,3% compared to the same period last year.

In Northern Cape it went down by 1.9%, Mpumalanga 0.7% and Limpopo 0.4%.

(edited by MLM)

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IDC on mission to unlock more Mpumalanga farming opportunities

The corporation held a business breakfast in Gert Sibande, conducting discussions on the type of available funding opportunities.

The Industrial Development Corporation is in Mpumalanga to speak economic development.

The corporation believes the agricultural industry is one sector that needs closer attention for matters of food security.

Mpumalanga IDC manager Mashweu Matsiela said the one reason they pay particular attention to this sector was because of its role in creating jobs.

“We want to increase our footprint in the Gert Sibande district and facilitate the unlocking of opportunities,” he said.

“And not just in the agro-processing industry but within the agricultural sector as a whole by working together with farmers and key stakeholders in the province,” Matsiela said.

During the breakfast business briefing in Ermelo a week ago, farmers had the opportunity to ask questions.

They were with the National Empowerment Fund and the agriculture department…

IDC is currently involved in two key agro-processing projects in the province, costing R1.5 billion.

The first one is the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market and the Natural Dehydrated Foods.

Officials say the two projects will create 3 500 jobs.

The corporation recently opened another office in Mbombela, following one they opened in eMalahleni.

(edited by MLM)

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‘We will intervene in Lily Mine’

Premier David Mabuza has reportedly said his government will no longer wait for investors concerning the situation at Lily Mine.

Mabuza is quoted by the SABC saying: “I think we have come to that point, to say certain things we might do them ourselves”.

He added: “Lets not wait for external people that we think they have got money, the little resources we have, if correctly utilised, we can turn the situation around; that is our approach, so we are not talking of starting a new thing, about owning a state company, mining company, we have that arm already, it [must] just be built around that arm”.

Three weeks ago Mabuza, accompanied by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane met with the families of Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyarende – the three trapped workers.

The department said the aim of meeting Yvonne, Pretty and Solomon’s families in Baberton, Mpumalanga  “was to receive feedback from the mine’s management on progress made in securing funding that will enable the mine to compensate the affected families and mineworkers, as well as to develop a decline for retrieval of the container”.

The Minister and the Premier committed to engage neighbouring mining companies in an effort to negotiate that some Lily Mine and Barbrook employees be employed, noting that 10 job opportunities have already been created,” the department said, adding that food parcels were being “provided to the affected families”.

The Vantage Goldfields have pleaded being broke after putting rescue operations to a halt early last year, saying rescuing the three will require R200 million.

Mabuza said Exxaro will invest over R3.8bn in a new Belfast coal mine, creating hundreds of jobs, and that his government will intervene in the electricity bills of the two troubled Mpumalanga municipalities – Msukaligwa and eMalahleni.

(edited by ZK)

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