Dr Patrice Motsepe’s charitable organisation, Motsepe Foundation, has pledged R100m towards a jobs fund to help alleviate SA’s unemployment crisis.

Motsepe’s jobs fund comes after just a week the Statistics South Africa’s (StatsSA) released the country’s jobs data for the third quarter of 2019, showing that the unemployment rate has increased to 29.1%. PwC said that this is the highest unemployment rate since 2003 and South Africa now has the joint fourth-highest unemployment rate out of 182 countries as tracked by Trading Economics.

Dr. Motsepe said: “Many South Africans are poor, unemployed and feel marginalised and excluded from the economy. The Motsepe Foundation is honoured to work in partnership with the 33 Religious and Faith-Based Organisations that we have worked with over many years. There is a lot of outstanding talent and creativity within the Religious and Faith-Based Organisations and we are confident that our partnership will create thousands of sustainable jobs, instill hope and contribute to improving the living conditions and standards of living of many poor, unemployed and marginalised South Africans”.

From benefiting members of the multi-million member Zion Christian Church to Hindu devotees, the R100m Motsepe Foundation job creation fund is set to add a new dimension to efforts aimed at addressing the country’s record high unemployment rate.

Affiliated groups would be involved in selecting deserving individuals from their organisations to apply to the fund.  Each of the 33 religious and faith-based organisations will appoint two members to serve on the Advisory Council and one member on the Sustainable Job Creation Committee.

There will also be members who are experts and have experience in sustainable job creation, skills and training projects and partnerships, who will serve on the committee.  

Applications for funding will  be screened and assessed by the committee who would then recommend deserving applications to the advisory council for consideration.

Funding would be open to people who are not members of religious groups and other donors would make donations to the fund.

“Opportunities to create sustainable jobs will also arise from collaboration and partnerships with private corporations, social entrepreneurs and individuals in other sectors and industries of the South African economy,” the Foundation announced.

Here are some of the organisations affiliated to the fund:

  • Zion Christian Church
  • Catholic Church
  • Anglican Church of Southern Africa
  • Methodist Church of Southern Africa
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
  • Dutch Reformed Church Union of Orthodox Synagogues,
  • Jamiat Ulama
  • Nazareth Baptist Church
  • SA Hindu Maha Sabha
  • Muslim Judicial Council
  • Evangelical Alliance
  • Greek Orthodox Church
  • South African Council of Churches

“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, the 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.

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