04 August 2009

Job loss: Gauteng women hardest hit

Gauteng women have been hardest hit by the job losses, Gauteng health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said, with 26% of women unemployed compared to 22% amongst men.

Women in Gauteng were hardest hit by the job losses in the second quarter of the year, Gauteng health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said.

"The unemployment rate among women is 26% compared to 22% amongst men. This is significant, given the fact that women constitute a higher percentage of the population," she said in her budget speech. "The feminisation of poverty is further confirmed by the concentration of job losses among women, with an estimated 68 000 women losing their jobs as domestic workers from April until June 2009."

Mahlangu's department will skill over 4 700 young people as part of its bid to reduce poverty and create jobs, she said. Her R1.9 billion social development budget would be used to provide skills such as plumbing, life skills, computer training, business skills, and carpentry.

Mahlangu said her department would partner with the parastatals Telkom, Eskom and Transnet to train young people to participate in the labour market.

Ninety percent of all contracts entered into would be awarded to previously disadvantaged individuals and small and medium enterprises.

Increase in ARV treatment sites
Mahlangu said 4 000 volunteer community care-givers, mostly women, would be trained in home-based care centres.

"Seventy-nine youths, mainly women, participating in social worker bursary programmes will be employed by the department in support of retention strategy for social work and other related scarce skills," she said.

Mahlangu's health budget was aimed at prioritising patient care. She announced an increase in anti-retroviral treatment sites from 69 to 83 by the end of this financial year.

"The number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment at these sites will also be increased from 100 000 to 250 000, including 20 000 children," she said.

Her department would increase the number of workers, the acquisition of equipment and improve working conditions of staff at public hospitals, she said.

These include the Chris Hani Baragwanath, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic, Dr George Mukhari, Steve Biko Academic, Tembisa, Natalspruit, Helen Joseph, Leratong, Kalafong and Tambo Memorial hospitals. – (Sapa, July 2009)

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Job loss bad for your health


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