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It takes blood, sweat and tears to create jobs, says head of Jobs Fund

Oct 24 2018 06:15
Carin Smith

South Africans must realise that in the current economic climate it takes blood, sweat and tears to create jobs, Najwah Allie-Edries head of National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, said on Tuesday.

She took part in a panel discussion on public private partnerships as a way to create jobs at the Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference.
The R9bn Jobs Fund was started in 2011 with the goal of thinking differently about how to grow the SA economy and create jobs, because it had become clear that no single entity can solve the job creation challenge in the country.

The model is based on a challenge fund and involves a rigorous, transparent process. The decision to grant funding is made by an independent committee after a team of technical experts first review its viability.

Sustainability and value for money are key factors, as well as the ability to move communities forward. Currently the Jobs Fund has more than 100 partners, who have been able to scale their operations with input from the fund.

In the agriculture sector the Jobs Fund seeks to help emerging farmers with finance, technical input and access to market so that they can make a significant contribution to SA’s food security.

The fund aims to help partners to overcome barriers to job creation and a special focus is placed on jobs for women and the youth.

"We can talk about the number of projects, the number of placements and the number of new jobs created, but the most important for the fund has been the partnerships we made and the leverage we could achieve in this way," said Allie-Edries.
"With the current fiscal constraints, we must make the public purse have more impact."

So far, the Jobs Fund has approved 127 projects. It has allocated R6.7bn in grant money and obtained a commitment of R9.5bn in matched funding.

"Through the work we have done, we saw that so many people have demonstrated commitment to SA," said Allie-Edries.

"People say we are tough at the Jobs Fund. When we started the fund, the biggest challenge for us was to develop relationships of trust."

She emphasised that the fund works on a competition basis.

"Some people accuse us of being ‘useless’ because we do not fund their ‘good idea’. To that I say that this is a challenge fund and it is our responsibility to ensure that the best of the best ideas surface and are supported," she said.

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treasury  |  youth  |  unemployment  |  jobs  |  sa economy


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