Motsepe injects R100m into new jobs fund

Business magnate Patrice Motsepe’s charitable vehicle, Motsepe Foundation, this week pledged R100m towards a jobs fund to help alleviate SA’s unemployment crisis.

Motsepe said the foundation would support the fund financially until more funders could be brought on board.

The fund will be administered through 33 religious and faithbased organisations.

“The way it’s going to function is simple. I’ve got a project that I believe will create a number of jobs, that job I must give to the advisory council which is like a board and the advisory council will give an application to where the jobs and skills are and evaluate whether this is a job-creating project that should be funded,” Motsepe said.

By the official count, 6.7-million people are unemployed in SA, which is 29% of everybody who could be working. By the expanded definition, more than 10-million people are unemployed, or 38.5% of people who could be working.

In 2011, then president Jacob Zuma launched a R9bn jobs fund. At the time, government said it aimed to create 5-million jobs by 2020 and bring SA’s unemployment rate down to 15%. However, economic growth has underperformed, and the unemployment rate has increased since 2012.

Statistics SA will on Tuesday release third quarter’s unemployment rate.

Motsepe’s jobs fund comes just weeks after he announced there were high-level discussions with, among others, the Motsepe Foundation and banks to launch a multibillion-rand fund focused on agriculture, farming and related industries.

The fund will unlock opportunities for specifically black agriculturists and give them preferential access to loans.

By Kabelo Khumalo 

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