President Cyril Ramaphosa’s drive to create temporary job opportunities for young people and help them gain work experience is showing signs of success, according to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
In a statement, the IDC said that the Social Employment Fund (SEF) is part and parcel of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES), which is meant to create employment within communities through partnerships with various organisations that are committed to social development.
The SEF was established by the Department of Trade, with the IDC as the fund manager.
“To date, a total amount of R800 million was invested through 28 Strategic Implementing Partners, contracted to deliver on the creation of 50,000 temporary work opportunities.
“The Social Employment Fund, launched through the Presidential Employment Stimulus, is contributing to sustainable job creation through the facilitation of [the] 50 000 new work opportunities which were delivered during its first phase.
“The Social Implementing Partners offer a range of services: anything that represents work for the common good, placemaking, health and care, safety and GBV, food security, education, communications and the arts,” the IDC said.
According to the IDC, the fund is providing benefits that include “work experience and skills – which can improve a person’s chances of being employed, becoming self-employed or starting their own business.”
“The Social Implementing Partners offer a range of services: anything that represents work for the common good, placemaking, health and care, safety and GBV, food security, education, communications and the arts,” said the IDC. During his Presidential Budget Vote, President Ramaphosa mentioned that the Stimulus created nearly 650,000 work and livelihood opportunities in the past financial year.
“These opportunities were created in areas as diverse as basic education, small-scale farming, and arts and culture. Of the people involved in the programme, 83% are youth. This brings the total number of participants in the Presidential Employment Stimulus since its launch in 2020 to over 1.2 million people,” Ramaphosa said.
The PES’s programme lead, Dr Kate Phillip, explained the criteria for selection of the Implementing partners, stating that no less than 80% of the funds received needs to be spent on wages.
“Firstly, you must be an organisation involved in work that serves the common good and have a solid track record of community-based work. Over and above other institutional criteria, the organisations must demonstrate capacity to employ at least 1 000 participants at an average of 66 days per ordinary participant for the 9-month duration of the Programme.
“Applicants will have up to 3 months to ramp-up their participant numbers to the maximum intended. This ensures that the work supported by the fund is labour-intensive, provides meaningful experience and delivers real social value. Social employment is not about work alone, but about creating high-quality assets and services for communities,” said Dr Phillip.
The IDC is a state-owned company that was established in 1940 through an Act of Parliament with priorities that are aligned with the national policy direction as set out in the National Development Plan, Industrial Policy Action Plan and industry Master Plans.
“Our mandate is to maximise our development impact through job-rich industrialisation, while contributing to an inclusive economy by, among others, funding black-owned and empowered companies, black industrialists, women, and youth-owned and empowered enterprises.
“Simultaneously, the IDC must ensure its long-term sustainability through prudent financial and human resource management, safeguard the natural environment, and increasingly position itself as a Centre of Excellence for development finance,” stated the IDC.