Gcina Hlabisa’s job is to create jobs. Directing the economic policy coordination and the employment creation fund at the department of trade and industry, 30-year-old Hlabisa tackles the issue of high unemployment in South Africa head-on, every day, and on a large scale. It’s his responsibility to ensure the coherence and alignment of economic policies with job creation and to assist in refocusing the employment creation fund — one that supports innovative government initiatives that will create jobs and uplift poor communities. Born in rural Ntumbane in KwaZulu-Natal, Hlabisa started interning at the department in 2005. He quickly moved up the ranks, working in key programmes and with respected individuals such as Ravi Naidoo, David Jarvis, Ray Ngcobo and Tshediso Matona, the director general at public enterprises (who incidentally has Hlabisa’s dream post). Highly committed to his job and his country, Hlabisa is determined to make a difference in South Africa, one job at a time.
— Lu Larche