Business Day's lead story in today's edition (State's fund creates 745 jobs, costing R4 million each) is a distortion of facts. The Jobs Fund has not created 745 jobs at R4 million each. The 745 jobs mentioned in the Business Day article refer to the number of unemployed youth who have been placed by Harambee with various companies since August last year.
Harambee is one of the projects that have received funding from the Jobs Fund. Since its establishment, the Jobs Fund has approved 54 projects, meaning proposals that have met the criteria to secure funding totalling R3 billion. This amount has been committed to projects but not all of it has been disbursed.
Of those 54 projects, 27 have signed agreements for funding of more than R1 billion. These initiatives will create over 65 000 new permanent jobs in South Africa by 2015 and place 42 000 unemployed people in existing vacancies.
The Jobs Fund is an initiative first announced by President Jacob Zuma in his 2011 State of the Nation Address and launched by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in June 2011. The R9 billion fund is managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa and aims to find innovative solutions to our employment problem by finding new ways of doing business that create new, permanent jobs in South Africa.