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Exploring Joburg’s Strategies for Creating Inner-City Jobs Post-COVID Funding



inner city jobs in Johannesburg

Mawere Taona, a resident of Johannesburg’s inner city, credits his addiction to basketball for keeping him away from drugs in the crime-ridden area and finding solace like many others with inner city jobs in Johannesburg.

Taona’s love for the sport was fostered through Boundless City, a local charity that organises basketball practices and maintains courts. bdnews24 reports that the charity is one of many social projects benefiting from a fund established by South Africa’s presidency in late 2020 to revive degraded urban areas and create safer environments.

The post-COVID-19 employment stimulus supports the projects. They range from promoting African literature through informal street booksellers to agricultural initiatives led by the homeless. These initiatives have created approximately 2,000 part-time jobs, with a significant percentage for youth and women.

However, funding uncertainty beyond 2024 prompts organisations to invest in skills development to help the newly employed find sustainable job opportunities.

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Despite the positive impact of these projects, Johannesburg’s inner city still faces challenges such as high crime rates and municipal neglect. The Presidential Employment Stimulus program aims to address South Africa’s high unemployment rate, and the current funding will terminate in March 2024. While the program is not a long-term solution, it provides work opportunities that allow individuals to gain skills and improve their prospects in the labour market.

The program has designed the initiatives to support various organisations in civil society, including those focused on waste reduction, river clean-up, and sports training. These efforts provide employment and contribute to cleaner and safer streets.

The local charities supported by the funding implement innovative approaches to ensure their sustainability, such as training staff in permaculture and aquaponics, selling alternative products for income generation, and providing skills for individuals to transition out of homelessness. Investing in people aims to build confidence and enable individuals to grow even after the funding ends.

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Picture:  Pixabay / Gia Conte-Patel

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