South Africa unveils 1.3-bln-dollar program to boost employment

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The South African government has unveiled a new program to generate jobs and boost entrepreneurship amid mounting unemployment pressure in the country, Xinhua reports. 

The Labor Activation Program of the Unemployment Insurance Fund will be first launched in Gauteng Province before rolling out progressively during April throughout other provinces countrywide, Minister of Labor and Employment Thulas Nxesi told a press briefing Thursday.

The new program will focus on enhancing the employability of the unemployed through training, enabling entrepreneurship through enterprise development, and collaborating across government departments and entities to boost jobs, skills training and enterprise creation, he said.

An amount of 23.8 billion rands (about 1.28 billion U.S. dollars) will be allocated to implement the plan, according to the minister, who noted that the labor department has decided to partner with the private sector to create employment opportunities.

Official data showed that the unemployment rate in South Africa rose to 32.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023 amid weak economic performance.

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