LGSETA Launches Artisan project with the Maluti a Phofung Municipality

Maluti A Phofung is the municipality in Free State found in Thabo Mofutsanyana District. The municipality has the population of 334 784. Amongst the challenges facing the municipality include but not limited to, high unemployment especially among the youth, shortage of skills, very limited manufacturing industry firms which lead to migration of labour force to other cities, poverty and crime. The unemployment rate is 41, 8 % and it is reported to be standing at 53% amongst the youth of age between (15-35 years).

To turn the situation around, the municipality identified the following areas for development:

·         Develop pool of skills and training opportunities

·         Facilitating opportunities for SMME’s in procurement at MAP; 

·         Supporting the Poverty Alleviation projects; 

·         Facilitating Agriculture, Tourism, Manufacturing and SMME Development Value Adding and Market Access opportunities; 

·         Developing an Investment Attraction and Marketing Strategy for MAP; 

·         Facilitating for finance, funds and resources from non-governmental, private and donor sectors;

·         Facilitating opportunities for SMME’s in procurement at MAP;

·         Attract tourists and investors to the region.”

The Minister of Higher Education and Training, the honourable Dr Blade Nzimande, and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, the honourable Mr Mduduzi Manana made a call to all the SETAs, TVET colleges and Higher Education Institutions to assist with the development and training of Artisans.

The ministry in particular, challenged the SETAs to respond to the two initiatives, namely “2013 Year of the Artisan Programme” and also “2014 -2024 Decade of the Artisan “. The initiatives find expression in the National Development Plan which indicates that by 2030 the country should be producing 30 000 qualified artisans per year. This target has been brought forward by the 2014 – 2020 Medium Term Strategic Framework to 31 March 2026.

Maluti A Phofung falls under SIP 2 which is Durban – Free State – Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor.

The main objective of this SIP is to:

  • Strengthen the logistics and transport corridor between SA’s main industrial hubs.
  • Improve access to Durban’s export and import facilities.
  • Integrate Free State Industrial Strategy activities into the corridor.
  • New port in Durban.
  • Aerotropolis around OR Tambo International Airport.

Maluti A Phofung, has been declared a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). These are designated areas in the country with specific economic activity like the logistical hub between the N5 and N3.  The Industrial Policy Action Plan – IPAP also SEZ areas as the key contributors to economic development. They are growth engines towards government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development and employment creation.

LGSETA Intervention

Maluti A Phofung Local Municipality applied for funding in 2014/15 to the LGSETA, the initial request was for to train 300 beneficiaries in various trades which included  plumbing, welding, motor mechanic and body spraying. Only 100 applications met the compliance requirements for contracting.

The LGSETA has contracted with Maluti A Phofung Local Municipality and has allocated funding of R13, 950 million over a three year period for the implementation of the project which commenced in November 2015. The intervention will be delivered between Maluti TVET College and private providers.

The launch that took place on 25 April 2016 at the Phuthaditjaba Multi-Purpose Center in QwaQwa where the partnership and project initiative was officially announced to the community within the Thabo Mofutsanyane District and to highlight the importance of the project within the Free State as it addresses some of the national imperatives.  The project was officially launched by the Deputy Minister of Higher education and Training, Mr. Mduduzi Manana as part of the “Decade of the Artisan” initiative he is championing.

The successful implementation of this project will translate into job creation, poverty alleviation and SMME development within the region.

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