Pretoria: Efforts to move South Africa forward continue, with state owned companies contributing to job creation and the development of the country, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
“State owned companies have acted as catalysts for additional investment in the economy,” Gigaba said on Monday.
Speaking at an SABC-TNA breakfast briefing on infrastructure and its impact on the economy, Gigaba said job creation will not happen by itself, as it requires a concerted effort by all role players.
Infrastructure development was a critical stimulant, he said.
Eskom will be investing over R500 billion in the economy over the next five years, while Transnet will invest over R300 billion over a seven year period.
Three years ago, state owned companies falling under the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) invested R53 billion into the economy. “In the current financial year, we are investing over R113 billion — an increase of over 100%,” said the minister.
With the infrastructure build programme, state owned companies that employ many South Africans will have the capacity to employ even more people.
“Our infrastructure state owned companies are already key providers of employment and with the additional infrastructure capacity that will be built, [they] will become even more important sources of employment,” he said.
By 2017, Transnet will support the direct and indirect employment of 30 000 people, while in 2013 Eskom employed 290 000 people with a focus on youth.
“State owned companies are playing a leading role in skills development and will be investing over R2.8 billion in the current financial year. Over the last year, more than 16 000 leaners were trained in scarce and critical learning programmes within state owned companies of the DPE,” said the minister.
Transnet has secured R175 million from the Department of Higher Education and Training to train an additional 1 000 learners on maritime engineering, who are being recruited across the country.
“All efforts have been and must continue to be guided by the notion to improve the lives of all South Africans to create a better life for all by creating sustainable, decent jobs, fighting poverty and inequality,” said Gigaba.