Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said on Thursday that artisan training, especially by state owned entities, could contribute positively towards the creation of jobs, needed to grow the South African economy.
Speaking at the launch of the SA 1st campaign – which sets out to encourage a mindset that will drive the revitalisation of the work ethic and productive values and behaviours that build the economy- the minister said government’s biggest entities, Eskom and Transnet, were facilitating artisan training that will help in creating real jobs in the economy.
The minister believes that the fact that South Africa had a shortage of artisans was lamentable, given the country’s high unemployment rate.
“I think artisan training is probably one of the most important areas where youth can be engaged not just in public works programmes but in getting the skills they require to be able to sustain themselves,” said Minister Hogan.
She said that from 1976 to 1994 public investment decreased from 16 to five percent of Gross Domestic Product, remaining as is until 2004.
She said the utilities played an important, strategic role and that in the last nine months the department has gone over 47 trajectories due to the huge backlog resulting from the apartheid government adding that government was unapologetically committed to infrastructural development.
“Government has to invest in the future of the county,” she said.
She said under-investment in infrastructure has had an impact on the manufacturing industry and that the department is faced with funding the build programme and revitalizing the supplier industry. “By aligning skills with national economic objectives, these projects will alleviate poverty and create jobs, real jobs,” she said.
“We’re not appreciating enough that what we require in this country is not only lawyers, accountants – people who are graduates. We require people that can grow this economy in very tangible ways,” she said.
Source: BuaNews, trinityjewellerycrafts.org, nydailynews.com, akvo.org