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The Presidential Employment Stimulus reaches one million South Africans

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The Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) has – since its launch in October 2020 – created opportunities for over 1 million direct beneficiaries across South Africa. 
Marking this important milestone, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “While the work of creating jobs continues, today we take a moment to celebrate over one million opportunities already delivered. These include jobs created, work experience provided, livelihoods strengthened, skills developed and small business owners supported and promoted. These opportunities have been a lifeline for many in a time of crisis and are supporting economic recovery in local economies, in townships, informal settlements and rural areas in every part of our country.” 
The Presidential Employment Stimulus was launched by President Ramaphosa in October 2020 as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, which set out a range of measures to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The priority of the ERRP is to achieve more rapid and inclusive growth in order to create sustainable jobs in the private sector, through economic reforms and other measures to support the recovery. While these measures take effect, government is committed to supporting employment and protecting those who are most vulnerable. The aim of the Presidential Employment Stimulus is to utilise public funding to create jobs and support livelihoods while the labour market recovers. 
The opportunities supported by the PES are in addition to those created through the Expanded Public Works Programme and other existing programmes. The implementation of the stimulus has involved a ‘whole of government’ effort coordinated by the Presidency, with 15 government departments as well as provinces and municipalities responsible for its implementation.  It has also relied on strong partnerships beyond the state as part of a ‘whole of society’ approach.
Key achievements of the stimulus to date include the following:
• The PES has supported the largest youth employment programme in South Africa’s history. 596,109 young people have been placed as school assistants across two cohorts, improving the learning environment in schools and reaching every community in the country. 
• It has issued production input vouchers to 142,004 subsistence farmers, assisting them to resume and expand production after the disruptions of COVID-19 and strengthening food security. 
• 54,000 Early Childhood Development practitioners have received support to ensure the survival and reopening of ECD centres. 
• The Social Employment Fund is supporting community-based organizations to initiate ‘work that serves the common good’ in their communities. Together with the National Youth Service, which applies a similar partnership model, it has already reached 85,000 participants.
• In the creative Sector, over 32,000 people have been supported to produce movies, animations, books in indigenous languages, theatre productions, mural art and much more, supporting the sector in difficult times.
• Twenty-six universities have been supported to place graduates in work that provides them with experience relevant to their qualifications.
These and other programmes demonstrate the significant scale at which the PES has delivered employment and livelihood opportunities, mobilizing a wide range of stakeholders and actors and creating real social value in the process.
The President has called on the private sector to contribute to the success of the initiative, saying: “Our task now is to expand and deepen the impact of this work. We call on business to hire these young people with newly-acquired work experience as they leave these programmes.”
All programme descriptions, budgets, targets and performance are reflected on the dashboard below, including stories from participants in many of the programmes:
Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President – 082 835 6315/
Issued by: The Presidency


An overview of selected programmes in the Presidential Employment Stimulus is presented here, with profiles of beneficiaries which may be quoted. Further information available from the online dashboard at
The Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI)
Implemented by: Department of Basic Education 
The Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI - also known as PYEI-DBE) has at this stage placed nearly 600,000 young people as assistants in schools across the country, in two cohorts. The third cohort will start in early 2023. There are two categories of school assistants. Education Assistants (EAs) support teachers in the classroom. These posts require a matric, with graduates prioritised. General Assistants (GAs) assist with tasks such as school maintenance, security, food gardens and after-school care. The BEEI has provided a new example of how public employment programmes can go rapidly to scale, creating meaningful work at decent standards for young people, while delivering real public value. In Phase One, 94,6% of 60,000 teachers and principals surveyed believed it strengthened the learning environment at schools and wanted it to continue. It also has the advantage of a highly equitable spatial footprint that reaches even the most remote and marginalised communities - because every community has schools.
Education Assistants: Most of the second cohort of school assistants completed their ten month placement in August 2022; some provinces have been able to extend the placement for a limited period. DBE placed a strong emphasis on skills development and support for the school assistants, and 150,892 courses were completed by participants. Recruitment for the next cohort has started from 26 September on, for placements starting in early 2023.
General Assistants: Much effort is going into supporting the school assistants to transition to other opportunities. DBE has done a provincial roadshow, to showcase bursaries and scholarships for those who want to go into education. There has been CV-writing support, letters of reference from Principals and engagement with stakeholders including in the private sector to encourage all who can to assist these young people to find pathways to new opportunities.  
Rochelle Wagner was appointed as an education assistant at Range Primary School in Elsie's River in the Western Cape. "After the program ended at school, I did some voluntary work at the same school and am now part of the Mathmoms program." Her experience also inspired her to train in performing arts and as a foundation phase teacher.
As an Education Assistant, 20-year-old Wade Janniker gave a helping hand in computer labs at Range Primary School in Elsie's River. "I learned how much my help was valued. It was such a privilege to have that experience. In our neighbourhood, other people stand on corners and ask for R2.00. I don't want to be like them. My duties included assisting the deputy principal and teachers with admin work, but mostly I was in the computer lab. That's where I discovered how much I love computer work. It was very rewarding to see children wanting to learn."  After exiting the programme, Janniker was able to find permanent employment.
'School assistants run after-school activities - including organising sporting activities at many schools that have never had these in a structured way before. 'Sports and Enrichment Assistants are now recruited as a particular category within the programme, open to young people who do not have a matric. Sport can play a vital role in school life, with DBE highlighting its importance in providing 'challenges and adventures' for young people and building both teamwork and competition.  A training programme for the SEAs has been developed, to support quality outcomes, with this an important area for General Assistants to contribute within the programme.
'At Sizwile School for Deaf Children, in Dobsonville, Johannesburg, the message from school assistants to learners is clear. 'Schools for children with disabilities have welcomed the school assistants with open arms. Emily Xoliswa Didi, the Principal at Phololo Special School in Mangaung, sings their praises. "The learners here have special needs, but the group of school assistants we had were so eager to learn. After just a month, it was as if they were professionals, they were part of us."
'Lehlohonolo Kgatlane was an Education Assistant at Phoholo Special School in the Free State. 'Kgatlane says working with children is quite challenging as you need to get them to consistently follow the rules. However, he finds the work very fulfilling as he is giving back to his community and giving learners skills that will help them in the future.
'Over 20,000 young people have been trained as Reading Champions.In this Eastern Cape school, the Education Assistant runs a regular reading corner for learners. 'The National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) credits the Reading Champions with strengthening the culture of reading in schools, by running reading groups, setting up library corners, reading stories and giving one-on-one support to struggling learners.  
As an Education Assistant, Sharon Tembe developed confidence in her abilities and learned vital skills. "Being unemployed was extremely difficult." This opportunity allowed her to assist her family financially - but it was not only a financial relief, but also an opportunity to learn and get exposure to the world of work.
Expanding support to farmers and protecting food value chains
Implemented by: Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development 
The pandemic illustrated the vulnerability of our food production and distribution systems. Although exempt from the strictest lockdown regulations, the sector faced severe challenges with disruptions to production and marketing experienced by many small-scale farmers. The Presidential Employment Stimulus has provided production input vouchers to subsistence farmers, to assist them back into production. Applications were made on a USSD platform and came from every corner of the country. This has also provided DALRRD with a geo-spatially referenced data-base of subsistence farmers for the first time. Agricultural graduates were used to do on-site verification of applicants, collecting additional data that provides a basis for future support also. DALRRD is building on this to create pathways out of poverty for subsistence farmers. This has included follow-up vouchers to beneficiaries from Phase One, further roll-out to new farmers as well as other forms of support.
51,559 beneficiaries of production input vouchers from Phase 1 have now been issued second vouchers by DALRRD. These figures are not reflected here because these are not new beneficiaries - but certainly, this is augmenting the impact of the support. The figures reflected here are new beneficiaries, with further applications still being processed. DALRRD has overcome a range of challenges in the programme. At one stage, the programme was suspended because of abuse of the voucher scheme by certain private sector suppliers, who were taking a cut of the voucher value. The scheme was re-instated from 15 February 2022 and the voucher validity period was extended. To expedite verification of applicants, a partnership was entered into with the Solidarity Fund, to allow sharing of information. The volume demand for input supplies generated by the scheme is also supporting an expanded supply response in under-serviced areas.
Nozipho Cekwana from Impendle received a R5,300 voucher as part of support to subsistence farmers provided by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus. "You know how it is. The community always keeps us informed. So I kept hearing about this PES programme. After doing some research, I applied on my phone. It wasn't difficult." The voucher allowed Cekwana to buy maize seeds, manure and food supplements for her livestock. "Every cent really helped," she told agricultural officials on a recent site visit.
"The PES allows young farmers like ourselves to dream beyond small-time farming. Our belief is that if we put in hard work, we will be rewarded for it," says Phindile Ngcoya. Ngcoya is one of ten members of a family farming cooperative in Phatheni, Richmond, KZN. Every day, the 36-year-old mother-of-one walks with her nine siblings from the family homestead to work in their one-hectare field of vegetables. Standing amid the vegetables soon to be reaped, Ngcoya said: "All of this was made possible by a PES voucher. We could buy seeds and seedlings. The planting continued and now we are selling lots of produce."
"How on earth did they know we needed such help? It has lifted me up and made me the happiest woman!" Nomusa Khanyile from Mpolweni, Kwazulu-Natal was one of over 100,000 subsistence farmers to receive a production input voucher - on her phone. During the pandemic, with prices rising, Khanyile was running out of feed for her 107 pigs. "When I had only one sack of pig food left, I asked: 'What am I going to do?'" That's when she heard about DALRRD's Production Input Vouchers for subsistence farmers. The process was simple, she says - and it provided much-needed relief.
Molemo Mabitle runs Mabitle piggery project at Reddersburg in Xhariep District Municipality in the Free State. Mabitle piggery project is Molemo's successful side-hustle. Mabitle established a poultry project in 2002 which in 2019 he converted to pig production due to consistent electricity cuts, which had a great negative impact on production and finances. Mabitle piggery project has 33 pigs including piglets which are sold in his community. Molemo slaughters between 4-5 pigs in a month and sell them as fresh meat. Molemo works in a commercial farm and attends to his business before and after work. He receives assistance from family members and advice from his employer.
Tshinakaho Tshivhakhadi produces crops and vegetables on her 2-hectare farm, 20km outside of Makhado in Vhembe District, Limpopo. Tshivhakhadi received two vouchers, which she used to purchase fertilizers, maize seeds, and pesticides. Tshivhakhadi’s project focuses mainly on crop and vegetable production on dry land as well as vegetable on drip irrigation, with water from the borehole. Tshivhakhadi sells to the local community but she shares most of the produce with her family. With PES funding Tshivhakhadi bought fertilizers, maize seeds, and pesticides. Due to input of fertilizer, she has realis her highest yield ever, from 1 - 2 tons per hectare. She is an example of how sustained support over two phases has helped enhance outputs.
Nomthandazo Shezi from Peacevale in KZN, received a Production Input Voucher to support her newly formed poultry farm. Shezi started her poultry business with her little savings just before lockdown in 2020. She now has 20 chickens that are breeding fast and laying plenty of eggs. She sells eggs to her community.
Presidential Youth Employment Intervention
Implemented by: Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities 
As part of support to the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, the PES is supporting the National Youth Service and the Enterprise Youth Fund. The National Youth Service is creating opportunities for young people to contribute meaningfully to their communities and to develop critical skills required to participate effectively in the economy, build confidence and expand their networks and social capital. The Presidential Youth Service program is structured to support service work for 16-hours a week and will channel young people’s energy into advancing social cohesion, nation building and development. It has a strong focus on supporting complementary income-earning opportunities. The Youth Enterprise Fund builds on the ‘1,000 SME’s in 100 days’ programme of the National Youth Development Agency. 
National Youth Service: 13 NYS Implementing Partners have been appointed and implementation is in full swing. The Jobs Fund is the fund manager for the programme.
NYDA Youth Enterprises: 2,005 youth-owned enterprises have been supported, in turn creating and/or sustaining 7,652 jobs.
Kealeboga Victoria Tshikovhi saw an opportunity in the renewable energy sector but did not have adequate machinery to help grow her business - until support from NYDA. Tshikovhi runs Lamo Fuel based in Dikgweng Village in Kuruman, Northern Cape. Her objective is to accelerate the use of sustainable energy sources including supply of biodiesel in the Northern Cape region. She received funding from NYDA to purchase equipment for her company, Tehilla Legacy (Pty) Ltd, trading as Lamo Fuel. Tshikovi has been able to create employment opportunities for two other young people.
Female-headed business 'Zamava Construction and Projects' is owned by Thozama Gomba and Lwazi Lyutya and provides plumbing services to the community of the West Rand. Following a plumbing apprenticeship in 2018, these young women applied for a beneficiary grant from the NYDA to start their own enterprise. This bold move into an industry that is largely male-dominated resulted in Thozama and Lwazi getting the funds needed to buy the necessary property, plant and equipment (PPE)  and tools for delivering their services. Today, Zamava Construction and Projects is also an employment creator, having created eight work opportunities to date.
Kesaoboka Khabae from Batlharos Village in the Northern Cape has demonstrated that success does exist for the youth in the agricultural sector. She received funding from the NYDA. Khabae is running Tshenolo Ipeleng Ponelopele (Pty) Ltd - a farming enterprise specialising in turkey, broiler chicken, duck and egg production. Her aim is to supply homes, bakeries, butcheries, hotels, restaurants and hospitals within and outside of Northern Cape.
Social Employment - work for the common good.
Implemented by: Department of Trade, Industry and Competition 
President Cyril Ramaphosa has explained the rationale for the Social Employment strategy of the PES: ‘We are working on the premise that there is no shortage of work to be done to address the many social problems in our society. The aim is to support the considerable creativity, initiative and institutional capabilities that exist in the wider society to engage people in work that serves the common good.’ The social employment strategy aims to support civil society organisations to create employment by building on the work they already do, to enable community-driven solutions to local problems, through supporting 16 hours of work per week. This includes a wide array of activities, including care, Early Childhood Development, combating gender-based violence, community safety, placemaking, river cleaning, support to creative initiatives and much more. This strategy forms part of the dtic's support to the Social and Solidarity Economy. The Industrial Development Corporation is the fund manager. In Phase One, the dtic also created opportunities in the call centre industry through its Global Business Services (GBS) incentive programme, and exceeded its target. 
The Industrial Development Corporation has appointed 28 Strategic Implementing Partners (SIPs), with good sectoral and provincial coverage. Work is ramping up.
One children’s book was all it took for Litha Sam-Sam from Vrygrond in Cape Town to start a children’s reading and literacy initiative at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic - now supported through the Social Employment Fund. During lockdown, Sam-Sam, aged 20, noticed that children were roaming the streets with nothing to do. He started reading to them. The idea caught on; others volunteered to do the same. Now, children in Vrygrond and adjacent townships wait with excitement for the yellow bicycles of the Loxion Mobile Library to arrive, with books in a basket. It's story time! Through the Social Employment Fund, this local initiative is now expanding. 
This ECD Centre in Jolivet forms part of an integrated approach to supporting mothers and their children - starting while mothers are still pregnant.  The Social Support Programme of the Lima Rural Development Centre is creating work in local communities, by providing pre-natal and ante-natal care, along with nutrition, education and income-generating activity.
In Ugu and Umdoni in KZN, Siyavuna Development Trust is supporting the transfer of indigenous agricultural knowledge from older farmers to 992 young people - creating inter-generational engagement in the process. This Social Employment project links indigenous and organic agricultural practices, with participants getting SETA-accredited organic food-production skills. The project also links them into agricultural value chains and markets, so that they are able to transition out of the programme into economic opportunities.
New approaches to solid waste management
Implemented by: Department of Cooperative Governance  
Through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), COGTA has used the PES to experiment with new ways to tackle the challenge of solid waste, in a target of 25 municipalities, 85% of which are rural. These approaches identify collection, sorting and recycling options that divert waste from landfill and explore revenue generation opportunities for community enterprises, by looking at the entire waste value chain, with a focus on community awareness and the circular economy. The programme has also provided support to small enterprises. MISA also continues to support the application of labour-intensive methods in infrastructure in 15 municipalities. Preparatory capacity building was undertaken in Phase One, with changes to contracting now starting to deliver stronger employment outcomes from the use of labour intensive methods.
The programme ran in 16 municipalities in Eastern Cape and KZN, supporting 60 SMMEs and 7,623 work opportunities, to March 2022. It then continued in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng, in 7 municipalities, supporting 31 SMEs. MISA has since initiated work in all provinces, in an additional 22 municipalities, supporting a further 24 SMEs. Its impacts on diversion of waste from landfill and on community engagement in recycling has led to increasing demand for participation from municipalities, leading COGTA to augment the programme from its core budgets.
Malakhiwe is helping deliver a cleaner environment in Mthata and surrounding Eastern Cape areas, through the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency's waste management project. "I could not believe it when I was called to come and sign a contract but it's not just about being employed. This is a huge opportunity to learn about solid waste management, the business opportunities that will arise and how I can become part of it all."
Xolani Sicetsha found work with the Municipal Infrastructure Support Programme and aims to continue making a meaningful contribution to waste management, beyond the programme. Sicetsha wants to gain more experience in innovative waste management. Sicetsha sees this as a great opportunity, doors have been opened where he can contribute and learn in similar projects. He wants a better life for his family.
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency programme has exposed communities to business opportunities. Those with an entrepreneurial mind and passion for a clean environment have grabbed this opportunity to tackling the challenge of solid waste management. This is a great initiative for people who love a clean environment and who want to become entrepreneurs. Aside from instilling a sense of pride in one's surroundings, this project inspires hopes and dreams. Many of the people working in this project are energetic young people who were previously sitting idle at home with nothing to do.
Innovation in Public Employment Programmes in the Metros
Implemented by: Department of National Treasury 
National Treasury’s Neighbourhood Development Partnership Programme has opened a grant window for Public Employment Programmes (PEPs) in the metros. This emphasises the creation of meaningful forms of work that respond to community priorities, encouraging partnerships with non-state actors and co-funding from the private sector. Metros have been encouraged to innovate in the forms of work undertaken, to maximise the benefit for participants as well as the social, environmental and/or economic impact. Proposals from eight metros are being supported, with the work undertaken including urban agriculture, placemaking, support to homeless people, waste management solutions, catchment management and more.
Implementation is underway in the metros and meanwhile, proposals for the next cycle of support are under adjudication.
In Ethekwini Municipality, the Transformative Riverine Management Programme (TRMP) has been launched in 19 Wards starting from mid-July 2022. Twelve teams of Enviro Champs are working in their own neighbourhoods. They learn to identify environmental challenges that impact on their community and to develop Change Projects to address these. The programme is supported by graduates from the Duzi-uMmgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) programme - a PES programme under DSI - in a great example of collaboration. They engage in income-generating recycling activities also. The teams use Field Survey, a mobile app, to collect data on solid waste, alien vegetation and water and sewer leaks. These are geo-located which helps the municipality to plan action.
The City of Cape Town is working with Streetscapes to support homeless people to rebuild their lives. Renita is one of the beneficiaries who is building a better future for her family. Streetscapes addresses the needs of the homeless, providing employment, psychosocial support and a ‘housing first’ type of accommodation. Renita is a beneficiary of the programme. “What I'm learning from Streetscapes is not just for my future, but for my son and for a better life for my mother.” In the programme she spends her days tending to a food garden where she loves watching the spinach grow and learning how to imbue the soil with nutrients to make the seedlings in her care grow abundantly.
Pothole repairs matter for motorists - and the City of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is creating work from getting it done in the Springs area. Participants from Ekurhuleni Public Employment Programme working under the Roads and Stormwater Department had various responsibilities including tar patching and repairing potholes.
Action for the environment
Implemented by: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment 
The work undertaken in environmental, forestry and fishery programmes has touched the length and breadth of the country, from coast to coast, including bushveld, grassland, fynbos, wetlands, mountains, water bodies, catchment areas – and urban areas, too. The work undertaken affects the air we breathe, the water we drink, the energy we use and the food we eat, supporting a wealth of biodiversity resources and ecological systems essential to life on earth and to the future of the planet. 
Sisipho Mpotulo from Mthatha, Eastern Cape, participated in the SANBI Sustainable Wildlife Economies project. "I feel proud to be part of a team that provides solutions on how to eradicate poverty. I feel proud to help in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, and to raise awareness on sustainable land management. I look forward to seeing how small black-owned farms grow as a result of the information and tools provided to them by this project."
For Zama Mnisi from Mpumalanga, SANBI's Wildlife Economies Project was her first job - and an eye-opener. "The experience gave me the opportunity to meet farm owners and managers and learn the challenges they face. Most importantly I learned that there is a huge difference between knowing how to work the land and how to manage the farm as a business. The discussions about land degradation and the economic opportunities from wildlife also gave the farmers new ideas on how to grow their businesses and create more jobs in the community."
Yenziwe Mbuyisa grew up in Ladysmith. She was unemployed for a year before joining SANBI as part of the PES. "Not only did the project offer me a chance to be employed and gain experience but it also gave me a chance to explore the value of my degree. It became very discouraging, when the pandemic hit and jobs became scarce, to find value in a natural science degree. This project motivated me to believe in the importance of this field of study and the value it has in our society."
Science skills support communities
Implemented by: Department of Science and Innovation  
Through DSI, a range of innovative citizen science programmes have been supported. In the Duzi-Umgeni River Catchment, Enviro-Champs have been empowering communities to monitor – and improve - water quality, building extensive stakeholder partnerships in the process. The Water Research Commission has placed graduates in public and private water entities and has supported 'Manzipreneurs' to start enterprises. The CSIR has placed science graduates in experiential training with the aim of improving the graduation rate for science, technology and engineering students and the HSRC supported Health Promotion Agents in communities, in the context of the pandemic.
DUCT Enviro-Champs: The Duzi-Umgeni Conservation Trust has continued to implement the Enviro-Champs programme. They have built partnerships with 14 organisations, all contributing to creating employment from contributing to river health. In the context of the recent floods in KZN, the work undertaken was  ecognized as having mitigated flood damage in certain areas.
Water Graduate Programme: In addition to placing graduates in public and private water-related utilities and firms to provide them with work experience, this programme included an entrepreneurship incubator for 300 graduates. Two of these ‘Manzipreneurs’ made it to the finals of the Climate Launch Pitch Competition in August 2022 and will represent SA at a continental level. In addition, the WRC developed an intensive career planning and coaching programme for 100 graduates from Phase One, many of whom have secured jobs on exit from the programme.
Experiential Training Programme: Graduates have been placed in public and private facilities where they are able to apply their science-related skills in practice.
Philani Sibiya has a passion for biodiversity conservation. As part of the Water Graduate Employment Programme, he has undertaken GIS mapping for a massive invasive alien plant clearing project of the Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Water Care Unit. "We remove invasive alien plant species which suck up water resources in protected areas and nature reserves. I'm responsible for the GIS part of it all, mapping out these sites. As a result of this experience, I hope one day to invent new technology that will help to conserve water in catchment areas."
'Little do the competitors in the Duzi Canoe Marathon realise what a difference the Employment Stimulus is making to the health of the river. 'Here, participants in the Enviro-Champs programme of the Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust and their partners take to canoes to tackle pollution in the river.
Rita Mofokeng, a Biotechnology student from Vaal University of Technology, was hosted at the Limpopo Agro-food Technology Station as part of the CSIR's Experiential Training Programme. "The programme has helped me immensely by equipping me with the necessary knowledge and experience that is required by employers. I have received industrial exposure, an opportunity to work with high technology equipment and I learnt how to write scientific reports. The exposure has heightened my love for science and innovation."
Unable to find a job after completing his studies in Public Management two years ago, 25-year-old Wandile Buthelezi took pride in calling himself an Enviro Champ. Before he joined the Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust programme, Buthelezi was at home – unemployed and uninterested in helping to clean up his community or its rivers. Now he is passionate about doing so.
Enviro Champs participating in the DUCT programme gather round to see what bugs are to be found in the water. Some bugs are a sign of a healthy river - others of an unhealthy one. The DUCT programme, with its partners, gets communities involved in monitoring river health, as a basis for taking action.
Through her placement in the Water Graduate Employment Programme, Bongeka Sithole now has an appreciation of the importance of installing more community boreholes to address widespread health problems in poor areas. "At KwaHlabisa we installed two boreholes. People were so, so excited. I now want to be part of a programme that brings boreholes to people in communities throughout South Africa. I also want to introduce environmental education in my own community to help ensure that our local river remains a clean water source for future generations."
Support to the creative sector
Implemented by: Department of Sports, Arts and Culture
Under lockdown, there was no loud applause in jazz venues, no curtain calls for the dancers, no tourists in craft markets – and no victory laps for our sports people. No segment of the creative, cultural or sporting sectors was untouched. In Phase One, the PES provided a significant scale of stimulus to the creative and cultural sector. Striking murals were painted in small towns, as part of support to public art; records were digitised in the National Library and National Archives; artists received marketing support; museums and work in the heritage sector have been supported. Through the PES, the National Arts Council and National Film and Video Foundation were able to support many creatives to create jobs not only for themselves but for others too - while producing art, music, drama, craft, poetry, animations, movies and much more. All of this helped to put food on the table at a time of need in the sector - while also contributing to feeding the soul of the nation. PES support to the sector is ramping up once more; calls for proposals from a range of DSAC entities have been in process since June 2022. These programmes will be included in the next update. In the sporting sector, extended lockdown delayed the return to play - and delayed PES initiatives too. More recently, however, support to sport has exceeded original targets.
The District Six Museum in Cape Town was supported to get back on its feet after the shock of the Covid pandemic lockdown. 
The Hip Hop Museum in Johannesburg is now hot and happening after its relaunch in February 2022 - with job creation for researchers, construction workers and designers supported through the PES. 
The Phanzi Museum in Durban collects and curates 'ubuntuArt' and has been supported to create jobs from digitising artefacts and archiving materials.
Sinomtha Nduna was supported to address the all important issue of mental health in the short film, 'Eruption'. "The purpose of the screening was to help develop an audience, while also celebrating the work put in by our youth-only cast and crew. We can proudly say that the film was well received by our target audience of youth and women."
Public Art was rolled out across the country and included visual art, drama, poetry, dance and music. In the Free State, for example, 93 artists were contracted to paint 21 murals, reaching not only Mangaung but places like Koffiefontein, Phudatishaba and Soutpan too. This image is part of a mural on the wall of a clinic in the township lkgomotseng in Lejweleputswa District Municipality in the Free State. The mural depicts the prevalence of the Covid-19 virus and the risks of not wearing a mask.
Preserving and promoting indigenous languages, with the Puku Foundation - supported by the National Arts Council. Puku spearheaded the publication of the first-ever book in the N/uu language - a severely endangered language according to the UNESCO degree of endangerment. They also made substantive progress in putting together the first of a series of catalogues of indigenous language books for early childhood and Foundation phase and created an online video course on reviewing books in an indigenous languages. Their work in preserving indigenous laguages earned them the prestigous 2021 UNESCO King Sejong Literary Prize.
Zingce, isiXhosa for 'take pride in who you are' celebrates heritage and culture through the Arts. Zingce Arts Festival is a fusion of Visual, Performing, Literary and Applied Arts created as a platform for encouraging and promoting the development of creative, business and entrepreneurial skills in the arts  industry, for the citizens of the Eastern Cape. The activities were inspired by the theme of heritage and and culture and exposed community members to other South African cultures, thereby allowing for the promotion of social cohesion. The Festival was supported by stimulus programme in the National Arts Council.
Wandile Molebatsi from Johannesburg is the co-founder and Executive Producer at Coal Stove Pictures. "COVID-19 was devastating for us! My company shut down during the first national lockdown. And as the main breadwinner for my family, it has been a very difficult time. But once lockdown levels were reduced and the PES was announced, the team was able to get back to work.
Producer Bongiwe Selane's 'Happiness Ever After' film has captured a worldwide audience, thanks to support from the National Film and Video Foundation. "The PES came at the absolute right time and enabled me to go forth and make the sequel Happiness Ever After - now streaming on Netflix in 190 countries to over 200 million subscribers. Making this film also meant I was able to create employment for so many of my peers in the industry, and mine was just one such project. Whilst our industry is still reeling from the effects of Covid-19 and still struggling to get back on its feet, it is efforts like these that give us hope."
Tourism monitors and maintenance support to provincial tourism attractions
Implemented by: Department of Tourism 
The Department of Tourism is supporting maintenance activities in 14 provincial tourism attractions and placing tourism monitors at key tourism sites where extra security will enhance accessibility for tourists.
Support to 40 provincial state-owned tourism attractions: Work to improve visitor experience has been undertaken at 40 tourism attractions all over the country. Nwanedi Nature Reserve in Limpopo, Hluleka Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape, Gariep Dam in the Free State - and 37 more. This has included painting, fixing, upgrading and refurbishing. In addition to the employment created, 42 SMMEs have been supported. 
Tourism Safety Monitors: Implementation of the programme is underway.
A 'pay for performance' model for digital skills - and graduate placements in universities
Implemented by: Department of Higher Education and Training  
In support of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI), and in partnership with the National Skills Fund, DHET is testing a 'pay for performance' model for digital skills training, in which placement in jobs at the end of the training is a critical performance factor. DHET is also supporting a graduate placement programme in universities - because even for graduates, lack of work experience creates barriers to labour market entry. These placements are for work that allows graduates to apply their skills in relation to their field of study, in order to directly enhance relevant work experience. University departments have been invited to create meaningful opportunities for graduates and in so doing increase their research and academic support capacity.
PYEI/National Skills Fund: Pay for Performance model for digital skills: The Request for Proposals for ecosystem facilitators to implement the Pay for Performance model is still pending in the National Skills Fund.
Graduate Placements in Universities: 26 universities have come on board and the rollout of posts and appointments is underway across a wide range of departments and disciplines.
The National Pathway Management Network (PYEI)
Implemented by: Department of Employment and Labour
The National Pathway Management Network is an initiative of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI). It brings together many partners in a coordinated system that enables young people to find pathways and successfully transition from learning to earning at scale.  Led by the Department of Employment and Labour, the National Pathway Management Network links young people to opportunities and support, identifies and addresses barriers, and supports the creation of opportunities also. With support from the stimulus, an eco-system manager for the NPMN has been appointed and an associated Innovation Fund has been set up, both through the Jobs Fund. The Department of Labour is also supporting 250 labour counsellors across various labour centres in the country, to assist employers to clearly specify their job requirements and to build competency profiles that will enable effective placement of work seekers as well as support to upskilling of candidates where necessary. For more information, see

Employment counseling to facilitate placement of workseekers: DEL has recruited counselors to support workseekers at its Labour Centres, augmenting support capacity.
Supporting the National Pathway Management Network of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI): The eco-system manager for the National Pathway Management Network has been appointed. The Innovation Fund has approved the first cohort of Implementing Partners and implementation has begun. For more information, see