Jobs Fund

Is the Jobs Fund doing its job?

Jobs Fund has spent R3bn to create 745 jobs but still more than 2 million jobless
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On Tuesday, 4 December Business Day reported that the government's Jobs Fund had spent R3 billion since its launch to create 745 jobs, at a cost of R4 million per job. But, according to findings from Statistics SA's latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, South Africa still has more than two million job-seekers – an increase of 225 000 over the past year.

National Treasury explained that these 745 jobs referred to the number of unemployed youth placed under one of the projects, Harambee, which received money from the fund.

Harambee is a business initiative that aims to find solutions for youth unemployment through creating partnerships with some of South Africa's top brands. These companies commit to giving entry-level jobs to first-time employees.

The fund, which was first announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2011 State of the Nation Address, is managed by the Development Bank of South Africa.

Launched in June last year, it was intended to lower the cost and risk barriers that stymied innovation, partnerships and job creation. It further aimed to create 150 000 jobs within three years.

Since its establishment, the Jobs Funds has approved 54 projects, which all met the criteria to secure funding of R3bn.

Treasury said that this amount had been committed to projects, but not all of it had been disbursed thus far.

Of the 54 projects, 27 had signed agreements for funding in excess of R1bn.

"These initiatives will create over 65 000 new, permanent jobs in South Africa by 2015, and place 42 000 unemployed people in existing vacancies," said Treasury.


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Issue 58