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Myles Illidge | 26 October 2023

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) project to hire 10,000 IT graduates to assist with digitising civil documents is far behind schedule, with only 1,146 positions filled.

This is according to Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s Home Affairs minister, who revealed the initiative’s progress in response to parliamentary questions from DA MP Adrian Roos.

“The first phase of the project recruited a total of 2,000 youth. Of these, some have received other appointments, and the number has reduced to 1,146,” said Motsoaledi.

“The Department is filling the vacancies. The second phase is to recruit 4,000 youth, and this recruitment is underway.”

This means the project is far behind schedule, with Motsoaledi having previously indicated that recruits for the second phase were meant to start work in January 2023.

Moreover, the third cohort was scheduled to begin its duties in April 2023.

In August 2022, the minister revealed further details about the initiative, including salary and qualification details, and a breakdown of the recruitment process:

  • Phase 1 — intake of 2,000 unemployed youth graduates, for which listings were made available in August 2022. The cohort was scheduled to begin their duties on 1 November 2022.

  • Phase 2 — intake of a further 4,000 unemployed youth graduates will begin, with advertisements scheduled to be published in October 2022. The cohort was scheduled to begin their duties in January 2023.

  • Phase 3 — the final round of recruitment includes the intake of a further 4,000 unemployed graduates. Adverts were supposed to go live in December 2022 and January 2023. The cohort was scheduled to begin their duties in April 2023.

Job listings for the first phase went live in August 2022, and Motsoaledi’s response suggests that adverts for the second phase have also gone live.

However, it is unclear whether job listings for the third phase of recruitment have been posted.

Advertisements for the first phase specified that positions are subject to fixed-term contracts from 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2025.

The listings are aimed at unemployed South African graduates between 18 and 35 and people with disabilities. The positions pay R5,000 to R14,250 per month.

“During the tenure of the contract, the youth will receive continuous learning and development interventions to improve their skills for optimal performance and to equip them for future employment and/or entrepreneurial opportunities,” the advert said.

Motsoaledi also said the project would prioritise hiring unemployed women in South Africa.

Available positions include:

  • Jogger and Prepper — monthly salary of R5,000 (320 posts)

  • Re-assembler — monthly salary of R5,000 (200 posts)

  • Receiving Clerk — monthly salary of R5,000 (50 posts)

  • Driver — monthly salary of R5,000 (8 posts)

  • Indexer — monthly salary of R5,000 (800 posts)

  • Scanner — monthly salary of R5,000 (400 posts)

  • Quality Controller — monthly salary of R6,000 (100 posts)

  • Group Leader — monthly salary of R6,500 (104 posts)

  • Technical Support — monthly salary of R9,500 (12 posts)

  • Manager — monthly salary of R14,250 (6 posts)

Upon releasing its first job listings, the DHA received a massive influx of applications, with 85,820 people applying for the various positions.

Of these, 23,374 (27%) qualified for assessments and interviews..

The recruitment drive aims to employ up to 10,000 unemployed graduates to digitise more than 350 paper records of birth, marriages, deaths, and amendments, most of which are in Gauteng, the North West, and the Western Cape.

While the DHA began the digitisation process in 2016, the recruitment drive was first announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation address in February 2022.

Part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, Ramaphosa said the project will improve young graduates’ skills while accelerating the modernisation of DHA services.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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