Jobs Fund disbursement lags, but gains made

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pretoria – The disbursement of the Jobs Fund has lagged due to initial delays caused by the manual processing of applications, as well as delays in finalising contractual arrangements with grantees, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Motlanthe was responding to a Parliamentary question in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, on whether an amount of R1 billion that was committed from the Jobs Fund for projects -- announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2011 State of the Nation Address -- had been allocated or used on any job creation projects.

He said the grant funding had lagged in that R116 million had been disbursed against the planned R561 million to date.

The programme had delivered a number of other outcomes that were not part of its targets.

“Specifically, the programme has to date contracted for the placement of approximately 42 000 people in vacant job positions; and for about 105 400 people to complete work related training programmes that will enhance their chances of employment,” said the Deputy President.

The fund was launched in June 2011 by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan.

An amount of R9 billion was set aside, to be allocated over a five-year period, towards the realisation of the objectives of the fund.

Motlanthe said the objective of the fund was to co-finance projects by public, private and non-governmental organisations that will significantly contribute to job creation.

“This involves the use of public money to catalyse innovation and investment by a range of economic stakeholders in activities which contribute directly to enhanced employment creation in South Africa,” he said.

The fund aims to explore, pilot and fund approaches for overcoming barriers to employment.

The Finance Minister in the 2013 National Budget on Thursday indicated that the fund had concluded two calls for proposals.

“In total, 3 614 applications were received, and 65 projects were approved. Grant funding of R3.3 billion has been approved, matched by a further R3.1 billion in funding raised by the private sector,” said the Deputy President. –