Knowledge sharing with the World Bank & Government of Ethiopia

The World Bank hosted a delegation from the Government of Ethiopia’s Urban Productive Employment and Jobs Program. The delegates spent three days in Johannesburg visiting organisations that facilitate public employment, with specific interest in the technology developed for these employment programmes.

The focus on day three was the Presidential Employment Stimulus which has created 1 million work opportunities across South Africa since the programme launched in 2020.

The JICP has participated in two of these programmes, the Social Employment Fund which is managed by the IDC and WozaWork which forms part of the Metros PEP programme.

Following a warm welcome at the beautiful Nandos Central Kitchen, delegates embarked on a site visit with Romy Stander from Water for the Future (WFTF). The Social Employment Fund has enabled Water for the Future to employ 110 community members to clean the Jukskei River and remove alien invasive plants from the riverbanks. WFTF works in partnership with other organisations along the river including Alexandra Water Warriors represented on the day by Paul Maluleke and Semadi Manganye. Romy was able to condense a two-hour tour into one hour, showing off the huge impact their team has already had on the ground. SEF participants were busy with planting in a space that is being completely revitalised from a dumping ground into a forest of indigenous trees and plants.

The day continued with a presentation by the Presidential Employment Stimulus programme lead from the Presidency, Kate Philip. The Social Employment Fund is just one of fifteen programmes within the Presidential Employment Stimulus. Kate illustrated how these public employment programmes are making a huge impact across the country. Apart from delivering more than 1.4-million high-quality jobs and livelihood support opportunities, these programmes also contribute to labour productivity, overcoming barriers to labour market participation, support entrepreneurship, create forms of public value vital to growth and act as an economic stimulus in the economy too.

Building a Society that Works – Presidential Employment Stimulus 

Bhavanesh Parbhoo and Dumisani Gumede attended from the IDC. Bhavanesh presented highlights from the Social Employment Fund. In 18 months the SEF has been able to deploy and deliver on 89,000 temporary jobs. Since inception, at least 3,799 participants have left the SEF before concluding their contracts, for better work opportunities including permanent work. This is a positive indicator of the programme offering a step forward on pathways out of poverty.

Social Employment Fund “Work for the Common Good”

The JICP was in full force with CEO David van Niekerk, Operations Manager Catherine Deacon, WozaWork Programme Manager Lerato Khiba and Marketing Manager Katie Engelbrecht in attendance.

David, Catherine and Lerato explained how the JICP manages SEF and WozaWork. As one of the Strategic Implementation Partners on the Social Employment Fund, the JICP manages 10 partners, with a total of 1358 participants employed in “work for the common good”.

WozaWork employed 1015 Inner City residents to increase the capacity within City Improvement Districts managed by Urban Space Management. Sadly, the World Bank meeting took place the day before WozaWork had to stop operations on the ground, due to funding issues and a pending court case.
Additional insight into both programmes was given by Nonkululeko Hadebe, Khululwa Mfundisi and Norman Maluleke from Urban Space Management. USM has participants in both SEF and WozaWork programmes and has experience of using the digital platforms that the programmes utilize; Kwantu, Zlto and Shoprite.

JICP Employment Programmes: Woza Work & the Social Employment Fund 

As part of the information sharing, Dr Ebrahim Patel made a presentation on an innovative project by RMB.

After a delicious Nandos lunch break, Andualem Gessese Damte, Government of Ethiopia Federal Project Coordination Unit shared the work they are doing on the Urban Productive Safety Net and Jobs Project. The objective of these programmes is to reduce poverty sustainably by creating jobs and improving food security in selected cities using different safety net components.

Government of Ethiopia: Urban Productive Safety Net and Jobs Project

Thanks again to Romy Stander and Leigh van der Watt for hosting us at Nandos Central Kitchen, and to Gibson Mudiriza and Victoria Monchuk from the World Bank for including the JICP as part of the Youth Employment Study Tour by the Government of Ethiopia.

Mmapule Msimango, project manager at Water for the Future.