A private-public partnership, between the the Department of Employment and Labour and three food processing industry companies has led to the creation of 3000 much-needed jobs.
This was revealed by Employment and Labour Deputy Minister, Boitumelo Moloi at a breakfast session in Worcester in the Western Cape on Thursday.
The three companies - Langeberg & Ashton Foods (LAF), a Tiger Brands entity: Rhodes Food Group (RFG) and Ceres Fruit Growers (CFG) - now utilise the department's Public Employment Services (PES) to source seasonal labour in Worcester.
"This project between the department's PES is not only the epitome of a successful public private partnership, but a blueprint of how we can work together to ensure that we create employment opportunities for the people of this land," said Moloi.
"This success story is further proof that the fight against the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment will only be defeated if we all put hand to wheel, and do something to change the situation. This is particularly fitting that we are celebrating this success a day before our Budget Vote.
"It is because we understand that unemployment is not only a lack of material things, but it also results in the lack of dignity which may invariably feed into many other ills that our society is facing. We also understand that we share a common destiny and therefore partnerships are the way to the future," she said.
The Deputy Minister recalled the violence that engulfed De Doorns and alluded that this partnership was borne out of those dark days.
"People born in this country were up in arms because they felt that foreign nationals were being given priority for the job opportunities in the farms. I salute the departmental officials who pursued a solution to this and worked hard in convincing local companies that they could partner with us in helping them secure labour and it is working very well," she said.
Public Employment Services partnership
The partnership, which dates back to 2017 and is in line with key elements recognised by the International Labour Organisation, has seen employers engaging services of the department through the PES to source workers for the food processing industry.
She said this was achieved through recruitment projects that seek to facilitate the updating of individual work seeker profiles to suit the needs of potential employers. Furthermore, PES has provided links to other departmental services like the social relief funds, Unemployment Insurance Fund, and the Compensation Fund.
Moloi thanked the companies for the role they had played while also urging other companies to make use of the platform.
"Our system is free of charge. We train the workers for you. All you have to do is to provide the opportunities and we will be able to help with the required warm bodies. In this case, we all win and the companies create sustainable business," she said.