Hope and excitement for job opportunities motivated Mpho Mahasa to wake up early and brave the cold winter morning.
Mahasa arrived at Nasrec at 4:00 am on Friday to apply for job openings advertised by the Gauteng government as part of the Nas’ Ispani Job Fair Campaign, which formed part of the Youth Month commemoration.
The campaign stems from the province’s strong desire to create meaningful job opportunities, empowering individuals to unlock their full potential and contribute to its prosperity, currently facing a 36.7% unemployment rate.
With a sense of pride, the 42-year-old Mpho from Diepkloof in Soweto expressed her optimism that this year’s June 16th would be the day that changes her life.
“I am happy and hopeful this is the long-awaited opportunity. I have been unemployed for over ten years, and it has been an arduous journey. I was quite anxious on my way here, but now I feel relieved,” she said.
“The application process was smooth, and they provided us with assistance. I truly appreciate this opportunity; I thought the government had forgotten about us,” added Mpho, who applied for a general worker position.
Premier Panyaza Lesufi emphasized the government’s commitment to rebooting and reviving the province’s economy by making jobs available, particularly in the service delivery sector. Lesufi stressed that the government aimed to defeat unemployment through practical actions rather than mere theories.
“I assure you that this government is dedicated to ending unemployment and providing opportunities for our young people. Moreover, we are determined to ensure that this is not a one-off event but a continuous process until we significantly reduce unemployment and our people can access more opportunities,” said Premier Lesufi.
He emphasized that this practical approach was a tangible and genuine solution to address unemployment, focusing on offering real jobs that are fair, transparent, and sustainable. The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) adopted this unique approach to celebrate the 47th Youth Day.
Lesufi expressed his humility and surprise at the overwhelming response from job seekers across Gauteng, acknowledging the challenges and limitations that might arise. He assured the public that the team was working diligently to support those present.
“We now understand the face of unemployment, the anger of unemployed youth, and the frustration of those seeking jobs. I appreciate their criticism, chants, and accusations because this has been the prevailing situation for far too long,” added Lesufi.
The premier acknowledged that people had lost trust in the government but reassured job seekers that this initiative was not a one-time event. Instead, it marked the beginning of an ongoing process to address unemployment and provide opportunities for the people.
Ntokozo Mabango, a Financial Market and Digital graduate from Novia One Business School, expressed her optimism and hope for employment through this program.
Despite living with disabilities and being unemployed for three years, the 24-year-old Ntokozo believed the government’s efforts were commendable.
“I have applied for the registry clerk position in the Department of Health. Seeing the government’s dedication to this initiative, I believe they have done enough. My only wish is that we are employed and can support our families,” Ntokozo stated.
Xolani Sangweni from Eikenhof, Jackson Farm informal settlement, applied for a driver position.
The 37-year-old Xolani expressed his happiness and gratitude for the opportunity. He said, “I am content and immensely grateful. I thank Premier Lesufi for allowing us to apply for jobs.”
Job seekers can submit applications at walk-in centres and government departments until 14 July 2023.
Job seekers can also apply through the Gauteng Jobs Portals at
By Thembisa Shologu