Minister Thulas Nxesi opens and hands over new Butterworth Labour Centre, 29 Jun

Employment and Labour Minister, Nxesi opens and handover the new Butterworth Labour Centre

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said the opening of the Butterworth Labour Centre will play an important role in the local communities – in supporting work seekers and also easing the task of accessing the services of the Department.

Nxesi said the labour centre will offer the broad suite of departmental services ranging from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Compensation Fund (for diseases and injuries on duty), Public Employment Services (for job seekers including – counseling, psychometric testing, registration for job opportunities and general support) as well as striving to ensure decent work through enforcement of legislation by the labour inspectors.

The Minister said the creation and preservation of jobs and the mitigation of unemployment are the priorities of government – and this was the focus of government’s ERRP (Economic reconstruction and Recovery Programme). However, he said these tasks are made more difficult by the unprecedented levels of unemployment – currently standing at 34.5% according to the Stats SA Labour Force Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2022 - a slight improvement on the previous Quarter at 35.3%.

Similarly, a 1.9% GDP growth for Quarter One of 2022 gives grounds for cautious optimism – with GDP returning to pre-Covid levels, Nxesi said.

In response to the ravaging unemployment Nxesi said: “through the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Labour Activation Programme (LAP), the Department contributes to training of the unemployed as part of government initiatives to stimulate the creation of jobs in the labour market.”

Nxesi said in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period, the LAP has planned for training of 75,000 participants in programmes that enhance their employability.

The new Butterworth Labour Centre is situated in the Mnquma Local Municipality under Amathole District Municipality. The office relocated from the old dilapidated office on 01 September 2021.

Amathole region’s GDP contributes 8% of Eastern Cape’s gross domestic product (GDP) and Mnquma Local Municipality contributes 30% of the Amathole’s GDP.

Butterworth (also known as Gcuwa) is a town in the Eastern Cape Province, in South Africa. It is situated on the N2 national highway about 111 km north of East London and has a population of more than 45,900.

Department of Employment and Labour Chief Director: Provincial Operations, Nomfundo Douw-Jack said the journey to opening the new labour centre started in 2016 when it was realised the old building was becoming inhabitable due to occupational health and safety hazards.

Douw-Jack said during its construction the labour centre helped create 180 jobs - in the process benefitting six local contractors. She said the people employed in the labour centre will be locals. She said once in operation the new labour centre will employ 17 officials and will be headed by Thabo Madikazi.

Nxesi lamented the deterioration and the lack of quality of services at the coal face of communities. He said government will have to work hard at all tiers with the private sector to bring services closer to the people.

“Through massive infrastructure built projects government can create more jobs. We also need to revive and sustain vocational training institutions to help develop entrepreneurship and self-employment,” the Minister said.

N.B: The department’s Eastern Cape programme this week will conclude tomorrow (29 June 2022) with Employment and Labour Deputy Minister, Moloi launching the Youth Employment Centre in Mdantsane.

Source: Government of South Africa