Science and Technology

Department of Labour’s UIF pumps about R500-million in LAP to train 2000 in a Ntinga and WSU training partnership for ex-mineworkers, youth and UIF beneficiaries in the Eastern Cape

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) today announced it is to inject about R500-million into joint programmes for the training of ex-mineworkers, the youth and UIF beneficiaries in the OR Tambo District in the Eastern Cape over the next three-year period.

In the first programme valued at R429-million the UIF has partnered with the Walter Sisulu University (WSU). The WSU in the three-year partnership will play a grant manager role. The WSU will second 100 learners in the training initiative. The UIF and WSU training will be conducted in two phases. Its focus will be on the development of skills in the areas of hospitality, new venture creation to develop small business, nuts farming, carpentry, plumbing, computer repairs, software development, textile and related areas.

The programme will also have a mentorship and coaching component built into it. The Eastern Cape-based higher learning institution will also run a learnership as part of its partnership.

In the second partnership that involves the UIF and Ntinga O.R Tambo Development Agency R70-million will be injected into the programme. In the partnership the UIF and Ntinga seek to develop co-operatives, new venture creation, manufacturing, boiler-making, tourism and agriculture.

Ntinga O.R Tambo Development Agency is a state owned company established by the O.R Tambo District Municipality as a Special Purpose Vehicle responsible for spearheading Local Economic Development in the O.R Tambo District and will be training ex-mineworkers and their beneficiaries.

Training will be conducted in the following districts: Ingquza Hill, Port St John’s, Nyandebu, Nhlontlo and King Sabata Dalindyebo.

Speaking at the launch of the partnerships at the Mqanduli Multi-Purpose Centre in the Eastern Cape today Labour Deputy Minister, iNkosi Phathekile Holomisa said the approach and interventions of Government were aimed at reversing and redressing the obvious and glaring injustices of the past.

The rationale for this intervention is to fund and equip dependants of ex-mineworkers in order for them to create job opportunities for others and in the process work towards a more inclusive economy said Holomisa that through this launch, the UIF vision is to be a canning, accessible and customer-centric UIF that contributes towards poverty alleviation.

UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping said the injection was a government response to deal with skyrocketing unemployment following last year’s Job Summit and Investment Summit. Maruping said the funding would focus on developing new skills to create new jobs, help in the developing of community-owned business and help drive public employment services.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund is a public entity of the Department of Labour that provides social security in South Africa to unemployed people. In an effort to alleviate the effects of unemployment � the UIF intervenes in the labour market using its Labour Activation Programme (LAP) which it uses to enhance employability, enable entrepreneurship and preserve jobs.

Maruping said dealing with the scourge of unemployment needed a team effort.

In terms of the partnerships 70 percent of beneficiaries will be ex-mineworkers and the other 30 percent will be community members especially the youth.

Ntinga Acting Chief Executive Loyiso Mbiko said recruitment into the training programmes had already started; this follows the roadshows conducted in various districts in the province with traditional leaders, ward councillors, and community members. He said formal training will begin next month. Mbiko said the agency was also targeting to partner with TVET Colleges, the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Mineworkers development Agency.

Mbiko said the programme will target people in the age group of people between 18 � 50 years old. He said trainees in the programme would be subjected to medical diagnosis to ensure their fitness in the intensive training.

Department of Labour Director-General Thobile Lamati said the type of training to be provided would need to respond to the needs of the ever changing labour market and respond to threats posed by the Fourth Industrial revolution.

Communication Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said her Department was inspired by the training initiative. Ndabeni-Abrahams committed the Department to providing online connectivity assistance when the need arise.

Source: Department of Labour