Hundreds of small businesses and cooperatives that have registered under the City of Johannesburg’s Jozi@Work programme will start benefiting from the R1-billion job-creation and empowerment initiative from as early as the end of this month.

Jozi@work gets down to businessResidents arriving for the launch of the Jozi@Work work package rollout. (Photo: was announced by Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau at the official launch of the rollout of work packages to be offered by the City under the programme at the Ennerdale Civic Centre in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, on 11 March.

More than 6 500 entities have already been registered under Jozi@Work, a mayoral initiative aimed at tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality. The programme seeks to provide opportunities in sectors such as energy, water and greening to no fewer than 5 500 entities by the end of the current financial year. Its budget is expected to increase threefold to R3-billion in the 2015-16 financial year.

Speaking to more than 1 000 residents who packed the hall last week, Mayor Tau said the plan was to transfer most of the work currently performed by municipal entities to local businesses and cooperatives.

“We call on you to prepare yourselves to take over most of the work of the municipality. The City will assist you and ensure that you succeed in your businesses.”

He said the first contracts would be awarded by the end of this month.

“The process of awarding Jozi@Work contracts speaks to our core objective of aiding socio-economic transformation in Johannesburg communities through partnerships and the shifting of mindsets – turning job-seekers into job-creators. Our aim is to create a culture in which ordinary South Africans can do things for themselves and their City.”

The Mayor said that although the initial plan was to allocate work packages that most would be able to participate in – such as refuse removal, gardening and landscaping – the ultimate goal was to see residents undertaking major projects.

“The City is a microcosm of the community. All the services required by the community are provided by the City, and we are saying to the public: ‘Take these services yourselves, be the provider and we will pay you to do so’.

“We will have achieved our key objectives when we reach a point where residents no longer accept handouts but put their hands up and make things happen for themselves.”

The Mayor also announced that the City had set up a R1-billion Innovation Fund to encourage individuals and business entities to come up with creative ideas to improve their respective areas and save the City money.

Mayor Tau was accompanied at the launch by MMC for Health Social and Development Nonceba Molwele, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Matshidiso Mfikoe and MMC for Community Development Chris Vondo.