The Jobs Fund creates jobs by supporting initiatives that generate employment in innovative ways. The Fund offers once-off grants in the areas of enterprise development, infrastructure, support for work seekers and institutional capacity building.

Established by the South African government in 2011, The Jobs Fund awards grants to organisations through a competitive project application process where only the best ideas are funded. The Jobs Fund operates on challenge fund principles. Funding allocations are transparent, open and competitive, and are made by an independent Investment Committee.

The Jobs Fund accepts applications from the private, public and non-governmental sector during calls for proposals. Project partners are required to share both risk and costs by matching the grant fund allocation on a 1:1 ratio for private sector partners or 1:0.2 for non-private sector partners.

Jobs Fund 5th Funding round is now open
The round will focus on the agriculture sector, with specific focus on subsectors that continue to require labour intensive farming practices

The Jobs Fund is seeking innovative approaches that will provide comprehensive support packages to smallholder farmers. This support must address constraints that hinder smallholder productivity and commercial viability. These constraints include but are not limited to: access to appropriate finance, markets, infrastructure and integration into the existing agricultural value chains.

To reach smallholder farmers, the agriculture round will emphasise partnerships and collaboration with large experienced intermediaries. Interventions must focus on projects that have potential to create jobs on a large scale and promote broader systemic impact.

The total grant allocation for supporting interventions that benefit smallholder farmers is R600 million. The principal funding objective for this theme area is to catalyse improved efficiencies and scale in a manner that is inclusive of smallholder farmers. To support this objective, grant sizes will range from a minimum of R20 million to a maximum of R200 million.

This round will open on 12 January 2015 and close on 28 February 2015. No extensions will be granted.

What types of projects are we looking for?
Proposals that:
  • Display evidence that the proposed project is focused on unlocking long term job creation, or overcoming barriers to job creation in the agriculture sector
  • Innovatively includes smallholder farmers into existing supply chains
  • Have piloted the proposed product/service/business model, are able to produce evidence of this and that are ready to take the initiative to scale
How do you qualify for funding?
Applicants must:
  • Provide evidence of experience in delivering projects of a similar size/scale
  • Have a track record of more than 5 years of technical experience supporting smallholder farmers
  • Have the capacity to rapidly put in place appropriate institutional arrangements that will facilitate real benefits accruing to smallholder farmers
  • Demonstrate that they have the matched funding and or ability to raise matched funding
  • Demonstrate that there are no outstanding legislative issues that require resolution e.g. land rights, water rights/licencing etc.
Project applications must provide support to smallholder farmers by:
  • Presenting evidence of sustainable market demand for product
  • Focusing on high potential, high labour intensive value chains
  • Focusing on linking smallholder farmers into existing markets in a holistic, systemic way
  • Promoting commercial viability of farmers
  • Providing evidence of sustainability beyond the period of Jobs Fund support
Doing business with the Jobs Fund
  • The Fund has a two stage application process to assess the eligibility and proposed impact of projects. By 28th February applicants must submit a short concept application accessed via the Jobs Fund website. If the concept application is approved for further consideration by the Investment Committee (IC), the applicant will be invited to submit a full business case application and a project manager will be assigned.
  • The applicant will have six weeks to complete the full business case application. The application will be competitively assessed against all other applications and presented to an Investment Committee. Only the IC has the authority to make funding decisions.
  • The Fund utilises standard contracting documents including a detailed project implementation plan and budget template. These are made available during full business case application stage so that applicants are aware of what will be expected of them should they partner with the Jobs Fund. Should the applicant not conclude contracting within the set timeframe this may lead to a withdrawal of funds from the project.
  • Due diligence is conducted to verify validity of proposals, targets, partner details, financial viability of the applicant, financial sustainability of the proposed project and the institutional capacity of the applicant and implementing partners.
  • Effective administrative systems must be in place both within the applicant organization and the implementing partners.
  • FICA compliance is essential.
For further information on the application process click (Apply to the Fund)

Contact details
Rulleska Singh
Communications Specialist: The Jobs Fund
012 406 9040
060 966 4842

Senior Technical Advisors
MirandaSimrie(012) 315 5705060 965 1982Miranda.Simrie@treasury.gov.za
LetsholoMojanaga(012) 395 6620060 965 1981Letsholo.Mojanaga@treasury.gov.za
AlexanderPick(012) 395 6681072 394 7674Alexander.Pick@treasury.gov.za
SonjaLoggenberg(012) 315 5349060 965 1984Sonja.Loggenberg@treasury.gov.za
LionelKunene(012) 395 6655060 965 1983Lionel.Kunene@treasury.gov.za
Latest Results
Preliminary results from the first three calls for proposals:
  • 89 projects approved
  • R4,62 billion government funding committed to those 89 projects
  • These 89 projects target the creation of 153 277 new permanent jobs over the next 5 years
  • An additional 59 735 individuals will be placed in existing jobs
  • The Jobs Fund has disbursed R 1.483 billion in grant funding to the implementing projects, which has leveraged a further R 1.757 billion from project partners.
  • The projects have already created 30 701 new permanent jobs, and 8 730 short term jobs have also been created. In addition, 17 428 people have been placed into jobs, with 4 792 completing internships and 75 163 completing training
Featured Project
Akwandze – Infrastructure project

Akwandze aims to ensure that small to medium scale black sugarcane farmers have access to adequate, cost effective and appropriate financing with favourable terms. With the support of a R50 million grant from the Jobs Fund, it will increase production from 450 000 tons cane per annum to 850 000 tons per annum over a five year period, creating 1,511 permanent jobs for local unemployed people

Click here to read more about this project