Nearly 30 000 could find work if deal with non-profit group gets green light
City leaders, with the exception of deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani, have given their full backing to a deal which could create close to 30 000 job opportunities for the youth in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The city hopes to partner with national non-profit organisation Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, but a decision hinges on the support of the majority in council.
The only man standing in the way is Bobani, whose main gripe is that the municipality wants to link itself to Harambee and pour R10-million into the initiative without putting it out to tender.
To pass the plan, the coalition government would need Bobani’s support should it not get the backing of other political parties in the council.
“We must not play with a sensitive matter of employment and make that thing sacrifice our compliance with regard to the legislation, otherwise we will be attacked,” Bobani told yesterday’s mayoral committee meeting.
“I want to say that before we even approve it – R10-million is not a cent, it’s a lot of money to give to these people without ensuring we put it on tender.
“We can’t give R10-million willy-nilly, because tomorrow there might be [another company] that comes and says I can employ a hundred thousand people.”
Bobani’s coalition partners assured him it was not a tender but an opportunity to partner with an NPO to help unlock job opportunities to tackle the city’s growing youth unemployment crisis.
Mayor Athol Trollip said: “We are not procuring goods and services here. It is not a tender or a bid.
“We are actually going out to find a partner that will help us create jobs in the city.
“Therefore, we will be going into a partnership with Harambee.
“They’re bringing in more money than we are. Their targets on job creation are quite astounding.”
The metro has similar partnerships with other stakeholders which it funds.
After the meeting, Bobani maintained he could not support it without it going through the proper tender processes.
Meanwhile, his colleagues have lauded the initiative as the key to making the youth more employable.
They hope it will eventually put a dent in the Bay’s staggering 47.3% youth unemployment figure as South Africa’s economy looks increasingly gloomy.
If it is approved, the metro will pump R10-million into the partnership over this financial year and the next two, while Harambee will also put money into it – although it is unclear how much.