Jobs Fund has now allocated its full disbursement of R9 billion
CAPE TOWN – The Jobs Fund, launched by the government in 2011 through a R9 billion disbursement, had allocated the full amount on 153 projects by the end of September last year, with more than 118 867 new permanent jobs created during the period.
In addition, some 56 660 unemployed individuals were placed in vacant permanent positions and 250 024 people benefited from work readiness and technical training, the National Treasury, which manages the fund, said in response to questions from Business Report on Friday.
The fund’s objective is to co-finance projects by public, private and non-government organisations that will contribute to job creation.
Between January and December last year, the fund supported 45 projects in the portfolio through grant funding disbursements. Funds are disbursed after projects achieve contracted targets, and paid their matched funding into the project bank account.
The Jobs Fund also last year approved and allocated funds to 28 new projects, which created 5 437 permanent new jobs, while an additional 6 081 unemployed individuals were placed in vacant permanent positions. In addition, 9 961 people would also benefit from work readiness and technical training.
The Jobs Fund Investment Committee said it believed the fund had demonstrated its value over eight-and a-half years, as public funds had been used innovatively to leverage R14.1bn from the Job Fund’s partners, towards job creation.
Initiatives supported by the fund cover a range of interventions, from microfinance to support for rural women, to guarantee schemes to crowd-in pension fund investments for the support of SME development, to agriculture support for smallholder farmers.
The fund also supports projects in the informal sector, as well as initiatives that have accelerated the transition of youth from education into employment.
Projects included the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, SmartStart Early Learning Franchisee Development, Urban Agriculture Initiative, CCI and CareerBox’s Workforce Development Centre Project, and Phakamani-Creating Micro Jobs for Rural Women.
The SmartStart Early Learning Franchisee Development project targets women and youth in townships and rural areas. It provides an early learning programme with trained and supported practitioners, plus the capital investment required to support the enterprises’ development and growth, and involves the establishment of birth-to-four-year-old child early learning and development facilities.
The Urban Agriculture Initiative, rolling out in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Taung in the North West, introduces new competitive forces into the food value chain through new commercial farmers (urban youths and women), new marketing agents and channels, and shorter marketing channels with closer links between producers and consumers.
It will aggregate produce from multiple small producers, give them bargaining power and integrate them into a value chain in which small producers currently cannot capture value.
The CCI and CareerBox’s Workforce Development Centre Project involves establishing a workforce development centre in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, that will create opportunity for recruitment, training and job placement, within the contact centre environment.
This initiative aims to source, recruit, train, and place large groups of candidates in township spaces into employment within two to six weeks. Launched on August 8, 2019, the project aims to create 550 new permanent jobs and place 1 100 young people in vacant permanent jobs.
“There are many factors that impact the creation of new job and many of these are not within the control of the Jobs Fund. We need higher levels of sustained economic growth, realistic and implementable policies as well as a responsive regulatory regime. We need to address those issues while at the same time catalysing innovative solutions to job creation,” the Treasury said.