JOHANNESBURG, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of job seekers on Thursday swarmed into the Gallagher Convention Center in Johannesburg, where Chinese-invested enterprises in South Africa threw a job fair in hopes of hiring local talent for localized development.
Long queues of people waited to submit their CVs in front of the stands of their preferred companies. To prevent chaos, organizers had to limit admissions due to the sheer number of participants.
Chinese Ambassador Chen Xiaodong said the job Fair is a concrete initiative and effort to implement agreements between the leaders of the two countries. It not only creates jobs for South Africans but also provides an opportunity for Chinese enterprises to hire local talent and pursue localized development.
"Today, over 100 Chinese-invested enterprises pledge to provide 20,000 jobs directly for South Africans in the next three years. Their businesses cover infrastructure, communications, mining, automobile, agriculture and many other areas," said Chen. "For example, Huawei will provide 450 jobs and Pengxin will provide 3,500 jobs in the next three years."
South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Alvin Botes said the job fair showed China's commitment to eradicating the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality and was evidence of the depth of the two countries' partnership.
According to him, the job fair would not only generate much-needed jobs, but also lead to skills transfer, especially in ICT, mining clothing, information technology, and construction.
"I believe that the Chinese companies and enterprises participating in this event have already advertised job opportunities and I hope that many young South Africans would embrace these opportunities that are being offered by the Chinese business community," he said.
Botes said there were more than 200 Chinese enterprises in South Africa in different sectors including finance, mining, home appliances, communications, and construction machinery. Chinese-invested enterprises contribute to sustainable development in South Africa as the country was one of the largest investment destinations for Chinese companies in Africa.
"China's investment in South Africa exceeded 25 billion U.S. dollars in cumulative terms," Botes said. "While this Jobs Fair and the opportunities on offer should be seen as complementary to the South Africa-China strategic partnership, it could be viewed as a further opportunity to enrich the bonds of friendship and understanding that exist between our people, as well as our cultures."
South Africa's Minister of Employment and Labor Thulas Nxesi expressed his gratitude to the Chinese Embassy and Chinese businesses for hosting the Job Fair 2022 of Chinese-Invested Enterprises, which, he said, would contribute significantly to reducing unemployment in the country.
"The Jobs Fair is a milestone in our friendship that is built on trust and mutual respect. As very good friends, the Chinese government and companies are aware that the issue of employment creation is at the center of our government's programs and priorities," Nxesi said at the Job Fair.
According to Nxesi, the unemployment rate of South Africa stands at 35.3 percent for now. This ratio is much higher when it comes to the young people that are not economically engaged.
"On behalf of our government, I wish to express our gratitude to the people of China for this important gesture which will undoubtedly contribute to our efforts to reduce the current 35.3 percent unemployment rate," he said while calling on Chinese companies to partner with South African companies to create jobs in the country.
"These collaborations will ensure that these companies get a chance to scale up to compete globally," Nxesi said. "Moreover, we will improve our cooperation at the level of BRICS and other platforms to build labor markets that are resilient and responsive to the needs of our citizens."