At its core, the Jobs Fund seeks to operate as a catalyst for innovation and investment in activities which directly contribute to sustainable job creation initiatives, as well as long term employment creation.
Up to this point, the Jobs Fund has 107 approved projects which comprise of enterprise development, infrastructure, support for work seekers and institutional capacity building. The Fund has allocated R5.6 billion in grants funds. R8 billion has been leveraged in projects funding. The fund counts amongst its success, the placing of 60 657 individuals in new permanent jobs. It has filled 30 353 vacant posts, and an approximate of 16 124 people who have managed to take up positions in short-term jobs. The number of people registered to complete training is 128 196.
The Jobs Fund has been designed specifically to overcome some of the barriers to job creation that have been identified. Some of these barriers relate to demand for labour, supply of labour, and some to the broader institutional environment. How the Jobs Fund plans to overcome these is by providing public funding through four “funding windows” i.e. Enterprise Development; Infrastructure Investment; Support for Work Seekers and Institutional Capacity Building.
Within the four identified broad windows, the Jobs Fund seeks to stimulate good ideas, risk-taking and investment to discover new ways of working, where the costs and risks may be unknown, and where the pro-poor impact, principally in the form of sustainable job creation, may be significantly larger than with conventional approaches.
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Who Should Apply?
Given the limited resources and time available for the Fund, it will prioritise applicants which offer most ‘bang for buck’ in terms of job creating impact, innovation, sustainability and potential for systemic change.
This informs the following broad targets:
1) Large, game-changing initiatives which offer scope for significant learning and ‘systemic change’ in the way companies, NGOs, government entities operate, and which have a direct link to sustainable job creation. This contrasts with the proliferation of small projects and pilots which characterised the first funding round, and which offered little by way of demonstration, impact and sustainability beyond their particular initiative.
2) Leveraging existing capacity, experience and resources, not looking to start new entities and projects – unless these are being used as a vehicle for experimentation and R&D by established players. This contrasts with start-up initiatives which do not have a proven track record, resources or demonstrable capacity in the proposed area of investment.
3) Credible, partnership-based initiatives which pull together like -minded players and partners with a shared interest and a complementary ‘offer’ in relation to the aims of the Fund. This contrasts with questionable, paper-based, opportunistic partnerships and consortia which are not rooted in any previous association or shared interest.
4) Initiatives which go beyond the mere extension of an existing project, and which have as an explicit objective the replication or expansion of a proven or high potential model in new areas or sectors – without the need for endless outside support.
Tongaat Hulett Sugarcane Development Initiative
On 27 November 2015, Inkosi Biyela accompanied by members of the Ndlangubo Traditional Council community gathered at the Mngampondo Cooperative Irrigation Scheme in Empangeni to celebrate the launch of the Sugarcane Development Initiative. They were joined by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Michael Mabuyakhulu; the CEO of Tongaat Hulett, Peter Staude; the Head of the Jobs Fund, Najwah Allie-Edries, and several other dignitaries.
This four-year project seeks to establish 12 000 hectares of sugarcane in the communal areas along KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast and Zululand, creating about 2 850 direct agricultural jobs.
By 30 September 2015, the project had established 2 679 hectares; formed 27 agricultural cooperatives across 13 traditional councils; registered more than 2 750 primary member beneficiaries and created 625 permanent direct agricultural jobs. The Jobs Fund has paid R50 million of the total R150 million allocation to the Sugarcane Development Initiative and Tongaat Hulett has contributed R68.75 million.
“The Sugarcane Development Initiative reflects Tongaat Hulett’s commitment to the future of the South African sugar industry through the comprehensive training and development of small-scale sugarcane growers, with the goals of creating independent, viable and sustainable SMMEs and increasing cane supplies to our mills. We believe that the small-scale grower community has a key role to play in the future success of the South African sugar industry and the agricultural sector of KZN, and we will continue to look for further opportunities to partner with government in supporting and growing this important stakeholder,” said Tongaat Hulett’s Peter Staude.
This project is an example of effective collaboration between community leaders, private sector and government, which is essential to achieving real transformation within the communities. The Jobs Fund is extremely proud to be part of this initiative and we hope that this model will serve as an example to other projects in our portfolio and how sustainable jobs can be created”, Najwah Allie-Edries.
This article was sourced from The Jobs Fund.