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Youth Day 2023

Desperate jobseekers queue at Nasrec, as Gauteng government launches Nasi Ispani campaign to recruit 8,000 workers 

Desperate jobseekers queue at Nasrec, as Gauteng government launches Nasi Ispani campaign to recruit 8,000 workers 
Thousands of South African youth gathered at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg on June 16 to apply for jobs offered through Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi's Nasi Ispani campaign. (Photo: Kabelo Mokoena)

At least 8,000 jobs are up for grabs across all Gauteng provincial departments and entities, according to Premier Panyaza Lesufi. The posts range from drivers, office admin and groundsmen to managerial and advisory posts. While promoted as jobs for the youth, the vacancies are open to everyone, provided you meet the requirements.

In commemoration of the 47th anniversary of the June 16 uprising, the Gauteng government has launched its Nasi Ispani (Here is a job) campaign offering 8,000 jobs in the provincial government.

According to Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, the campaign represents the provincial government’s commitment to intensifying efforts to curb unemployment and raise awareness about existing job openings.

The campaign comes against a backdrop of a 34.3% official unemployment rate in the province, rising to 39.6% under the expanded unemployment rate definition, as recorded by Statistics SA’s first-quarter 2023 Labour Force Survey. 

Range of posts

At least 8,000 vacancies are available across all Gauteng provincial departments and entities until 14 July 2023. The posts range from drivers, receptionists, cleaners, artisans, security managers, safety officers, electricians, social workers, and engineers to managers and advisers.

As per the advertisement flyers, all jobs are to be permanent, except where indicated.

For Youth Day, the Premier, Members of the Executive Council(MECs), human resource officials and data capturers were present at 22 walk-in centres across the province to assist applicants apply for jobs.

Thousands queue forr jobs at Nasrec

Premier Panyaza Lesufi greets job seekers at Nasrec on 16 June 2020. (Photo: Kabelo Mokoena)

Thousands of residents – young and old – braved the chilly Gauteng weather to apply for the  jobs. Others opted to apply from the comfort of their homes via an online platform.

Daily Maverick was at Nasrec Expo Centre, where almost 5,000 residents from the Johannesburg region waited in a long queue, some having been there since as early as 6am. Many were tired and hungry but determined to submit their applications even if it meant spending the night there.

Ready and willing to take any job

Charles (43), from Diepkloof in Soweto, told Daily Maverick he had never worked a day in his life. He said he came out to Nasrec to submit an application in the hopes of becoming employed. Because of his level of desperation, he said he was ready and willing to take any legitimate job the government had to offer.

“All my adult life I have been trying to get a job with no luck and at some point fell victim to a number of job scams,” he said.

“Today I am here to try my luck like everyone else in the queue, but really all hope is gone. The walk-in centre closes at 4pm, which is sad because it might mean I can’t apply. I am an old man and it’s hard to always be asking for assistance from my mother. By now I should be the one taking care of her, my two sons and my grandchild. Even the Covid grant of R350 cannot keep me afloat. It is really difficult,” he told Daily Maverick.

Thousands queue for jobs at Nasrec on Youth Day

Some of the applicants had been waiting in the queue since 6am. (Photo: Kabelo Mokoena)

Portia Kubelo (30), from Lenasia South in Hospital Hills. is a mother of two. She was one of the many in the queue hoping to submit her application. Kubelo told Daily Maverick she had been unemployed since 2018  and had been surviving on her children’s and siblings’ social grants.

“I have been in the queue since 6am and am still here. It seems the line is stagnant. though I am hopeful because getting this job will better my life, and that of my two children and siblings, because being the eldest I bear the responsibility of taking care of them.” 

Job hunting for three years

Lesedi Tsotetsi (23), a public relations student at Unisa, said a single response from the many applications she had submitted would give her solace.

“I have been job hunting for three years since completing matric with no luck … I am just hoping that I get at least one response for everything I have applied for. It’s a good thing that the government is doing this, but I just hope it’s real and they keep their word. I would be so happy to get a job and it will change my life in the sense that I will be able to finance my studies and make a contribution at home.”

By 4pm the job application queue at Nasrec was still long with more applicants joining. While many others flooded the online platform to the point where the page was unresponsive for many, indicating the dire need for jobs.

A screenshot of the It’s the online application showing an error code on their website. It keeps crashing because of the large number of people trying to apply online.

After successfully submitting an application, Sesi Mokgaetje said: “We honestly hope for a free and fair recruitment process.”

According to the online portal, applicants can expect a response within three months. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Charles aged 43 has never had a job and needs a job to stop relying on his mom and the government grant so that he can take care of his kids and grandchildren.

    That about summarizes what the government has achieved since Charles became a teenager. It also surfaces other scary fundamental challenges this country faces.

  • annem.coret says:

    Heartbreaking. A job gives more than just money to survive. A purpose and dignity are just as important.

  • Richard Baker says:

    Create conditions for business to start and prosper-that’s the way to build an economy and increase proper employment-not yet more make believe jobs paid out of the public purse! Instead the ANC are driving investment away, legitimate companies are at the mercy of protection rackets and the various sector mafias and tax-paying middle classes employees are fleeing the country for fear of their own and their children’s prospects. A ship of fools-farcical if it wasn’t so tragic!

  • Jennifer D says:

    Does he not understand that by inflating the already bloated public service with people who have never worked before and have no skills, he is not improving anything at all. Those people are all hoping for a handout job – one where they get paid and don’t have to work. If you want to improve the number of jobs, lift all the constraints business people face, remove BBBEE, encourage start ups, figure out how the US and China encouraged business growth and follow their strategy – that’s how you create opportunity. We need to encourage people to create their own businesses – not try to find a job in government so they don’t have to actually work.

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