The City of Johannesburg has launched the Jozi@Work Programme at Braamfischerville in Soweto to provide some of the unemployed youth in the neighbourhood with opportunities to earn a living from the city’s wide range of service-delivery initiatives.
The introduction of the job-creation intervention in Braamfischerville was revealed during a visit to the township earlier this week by officials of the city’s Integrated Community Outreach Programme (ICOP), through which residents are proactively brought up to speed with developments taking place in the municipality.
The programme is also aimed at educating them about the range of services provided by the various municipal-owned entities (MOEs) and what to do when challenges arise.
The primary aim of the programme, according to Assistant Director of Citizen Relationship Management Yolande Janse van Rensburg, is to “get closer to communities and ensure the establishment of a working relationship” to forestall any misunderstandings that might arise.
During ICOP’s campaign at Braamfischerville, representatives of MOEs such as Emergency Management Services, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, Johannesburg Water, City Power and the Johannesburg Roads Agency visited households and provided them with information about services provided by the respective entities.
The visit was led by Councillor Mandla Mlangeni, who said one of the major challenges facing Braamfischerville was youth unemployment. He said the Jozi@Work Programme was playing an important role in mitigating this scourge in the township.
“We are specifically targeting the youth. Through this programme we are able to create opportunities for youth, who have to form themselves into groups and be engaged in areas such as grass cutting, attending to potholes and fixing damaged sewerage pipes,” Councillor Mlangeni said.
It is hoped that, in the future, with resources permitting, more job opportunities could open up in areas such as painting of schools and the general upkeep of the environment.
The visit was widely welcomed by the residents.
One of them, Goitsemang Leshoro, said it showed that “the municipality cares about our needs. We are able to tell them [directly] what our needs are, instead of [doing so] through protest marches,” she said.
The Department of Home Affairs also formed part of the visit. Its representative, Mduduzi Tshwala, said: “Our mission here is to ensure that residents know where and when they can receive services such as the registration of births and deaths, application for ID documents and passports.”