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This week is set to be yet another busy one for the facilitators of the Jozi@Work programme as the briefing and registration process of companies and cooperatives for the City’s unprecedented mass empowerment and job creation initiative picks up pace.

Last week saw Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau visiting Sankopano Community Centre in Alexandra where he, among other things, confirmed the allocation of R1 billion to the programme in the current financial year. The Mayor added that the budget would be increased to nearly R4 billion in the 2016-2017 financial year.

More than 2 000 cooperatives and small businesses have already been legally registered for the Jozi@Work programme since the registration process began a few weeks ago.

The programme – which gives cooperatives and small businesses the opportunity to provide the municipality with a wide and varied range of services, including refuse removal, street cleaning, landscaping, maintenance and repairs – is the City’s response to the unemployment, poverty and inequality challenges confronting the country.

A total of four Jozi@Work briefing and registration sessions have been lined up in various regions for this week. A further four sessions are to be staged next week.

City officials and personnel of The Business Place – an advisory agency that assists small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) to establish themselves – was on hand on Monday November 10 and Tuesday November 11 at Hillbrow Recreation Centre in King George Street in Hillbrow in Region F to assist aspirant Jozi@Work service providers to register their entities for the programme.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the spotlight will fall on Finetown, also in Region G, in southern Johannesburg, where local residents are expected to pack the Finetown Multipurpose Centre for their opportunity to register their entities.

The programme is aimed at creating 12 329 job opportunities in the 2014-2015 financial year and 38 949 in the 2016-2017 financial year.

For every work package assigned through Jozi@Work, cooperatives and small companies doing the work with the City will be backed by a Capability Support Agency (CSA), which will handle all invoicing and payments, make sure that the work is done properly and enable them to rent equipment and buy raw materials.

The CSA will also over a year or two provide training, give advice, offer support and enable access to low-cost loans to ensure the businesses grow beyond the programme and do business with customers other than the City.​