1.2 million applications for 8 000 jobs: Panyaza Lesufi’s jobs drive conundrum | News24

1.2 million applications for 8 000 jobs: Panyaza Lesufi's jobs drive conundrum | News24

1.2 million applications for 8 000 jobs: Panyaza Lesufi's jobs drive conundrum | News24

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi.

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi.

Gallo Images/Luba Lesolle

  • The unemployment problem in Gauteng was illuminated on Friday when Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi announced that 1.2 million people had applied for 8 000 jobs advertised by the provincial government. 
  • The jobs were part of his Nasi Ispani jobs campaign launched on 16 June. 
  • Lesufi denied that the vacancies were created to help boost the ANC ahead of the 2024 elections.  

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s much-publicised Nasi Ispani job recruitment programme received a record 1.2 million applications for 8 000 job vacancies across Gauteng government departments. 

Lesufi said the staggering figure symbolised the chronic picture of unemployment facing young people in the country’s economic hub. 

The Nasi Ispani recruitment drive started on 16 June and saw long lines of young people with CVs eager to apply for jobs at community centres. The biggest venue was Nasrec in Joburg. 

Lesufi branded the initiative as part of solving the unemployment problem in the province. He used public platforms, including his Twitter page, to encourage applications. 

“For the 8 000 posts advertised, 1.2 million applications were received – 44% from males and 55% from females, and the other percentage did not declare their gender,” Lesufi said. 

The premier said there would be no other recruitment drives as promised because of the volume of applications.  

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Lesufi previously stated that more jobs would be advertised until July 2024.  

The new vacancies would be used to consider the 1.2 million people who applied through the creation of an unemployment database. 

The programme has been widely criticised by opposition political parties who said it was just another initiative to give the ANC an electoral boost ahead of the 2024 elections. 

The EFF and ActionSA said the recruitment drive aimed to employ ANC volunteers. 

Lesufi defended the programme on Friday at a press briefing and said it was not intended to help the ANC. He said the vacancies were genuine jobs available in the province but had yet to be filled. 

The advertised jobs include positions for secretaries, lawyers and nurses across the provincial government. 

We have been accused of using this for electioneering. We all know elections are scheduled for around May. Our process was set to end around July 2024. There are rumours that we will abandon people after the elections, but this is not true.


“The issue of unemployment is a serious one in Gauteng. These jobs were part of the programme of creating opportunities. We started with the peace wardens, with 6 000 permanent jobs. The 16 June recruitment was [to fill] vacant and funded posts by the government. Those posts cut across the sector and professions. We did not take this decision for political expediency. That is why we said the team moves with speed,” Lesufi said.

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The premier said a database of the unemployed would be created, and he encouraged business owners to employ people. 

He said the province’s tender process would also require those who apply to specify how many people they would employ.  

The unemployment figure in the country was at 32.9% in the first quarter of 2023. According to Statistics South Africa, the bulk of the unemployed were young. 

Source: https://www.news24.com/news24/politics/government/12-million-applications-for-8-000-jobs-panyaza-lesufis-jobs-drive-conundrum-20230714