Chris Hani District Municipality is doing its part to curb youth unemployment in the district.
The municipality has placed 20 graduates without work experience in an internship programme for two years.
Another 20 are set to start next month.
interns will receive a monthly stipend of R5,000, while gaining work experience in different directorates.
CHDM mayor Wongama Gela said to avoid hefty rent and transport fees, the interns would be placed in the local municipalities closest to their homes.
“The district is pleased with the progress of the practical experience the interns gain through the programme.
“It helps to lay a good foundation and facilitate their search for a career,” Gela said.
“A number of them are absorbed internally through normal recruitment processes as part of our staff establishment when there are vacancies.
“Some move to greener pastures and grow outside the [municipality].”
The district municipality adopted the internship programme in 2011 when there was an intake of 117 graduates.
The number remained the same in 2013, but was reduced to 54 in 2017 and to 40 this year due to reductions in government expenditure.
Gela said the internship was an opportunity for the graduates to look for job opportunities while gaining exposure in the work environment.
He said the programme formed part of CHDM’s Expanded Public Works Programme, which was aimed at bridging the experience and skills gap among graduates.
CHDM issued an advertisement in November for interns in the fields of customer care, stakeholder and communications, planning, information technology, risk management and internal audit, occupational health and safety, human resources management, administration, fire fighting, disaster management, the legal field, social work, transportation, finance, civil and mechanical engineering and water quality.
The mayor added that a verification process was conducted to ensure the interns were originally from CHDM, with no record of previous employment.