Private sector proposals sought on jobs
Cape Town - The government's new jobs fund will invite proposals from the private sector for projects that can create self-sustaining employment, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
It would also canvass municipalities and state agencies for ideas that could create jobs, he said in his reply to the debate on his state of the nation address.
Zuma announced the R9bn fund last week, as part of a range of measures designed to achieve the state's target of creating five million new jobs by 2020.
It also includes the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) investing R10bn in projects with job growth potential over the next five years.
On Thursday, he said the IDC initiative was already on track.
"As we speak, officials from the IDC are assessing options for supporting investment in more labour-intensive industries."
Zuma said the government would not lose sight of black economic empowerment (BEE) goals as it steps up the fight against unemployment, which is hovering around 25%.
"We need to ensure that transformation does not fall by the wayside as we forge ahead to build our economy and create much-needed jobs."
The Black Economic Empowerment Advisory Council, set up last year and chaired by Zuma, has made a range of policy recommendations on economic empowerment that would be taken to the cabinet.
"These address issues such as BEE fronting, refinement of the codes of good practice, regulation of the verification industry, as well as aligning our policies on BBEE with policies on preferential procurement," he said.