Question 1: How is the Fund different from other government funds?
    The Jobs Fund is a once off limited duration grant. The grant is awarded on a competitive basis. The Jobs Fund will not seek repayment or a financial return on its investments, but will retain the right to reclaim funds that are not spent for the intended purpose or are misappropriated. It complements the different funding instruments made available by government while sharing a common objective – employment creation and economic growth.The Jobs Fund’s objective is to create new permanent and therefore differs from other projects that seek to create work opportunities.Given the nature of the type of jobs the jobs Fund seeks to create, these Jobs will more likely be established over the life of the project starting from year two onwards.

Question 2: How much has been allocated?
    A total R9 billion has been allocated to the Fund. To date the Investment Committee approved 93 projects and R4.96bn of grant funding has been allocated to these 93 projects. With the leveraged funds from project partners, the total value of job creation projects approved by the Jobs Fund now stands at R6.1bn. Of the 93 projects approved 51 have been contracted with and have begun implementation. These contracted projects have received R802million and a further R697million has been leveraged through grantee contributions. These 51 implementing projects have created 12 184 permanent, new jobs; of which 50% are jobs for young people. As soon as contracting has been finalised with the balance of the projects approved by the Investment Committee the Jobs Fund will report on the additional projected new jobs.

Question 3: Who will manage the fund?
    The National Treasury’s Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) is responsible for managing the Jobs Fund.

Question 4: How is the funding structured?
    Matched funding is a key principle of the Fund. There are two different funding ratios one for the private sector (1:1) and one for the non-private sector (0.2:1). There are also different minimum contribution limits set per sector.

Question 5: Who will manage the fund?It would appear that the fund is not meant to help small entrepreneurs?
    The South African government has established many different institutions and funding instruments to assist small businesses, the Jobs Fund seeks to intervene through intermediaries that are able to leverage their existing capacity and scale up its services to small entrepreneurs. The jobs fund targets established companies/ organisations with a good track record and which have plans to expand existing programmes or pilot innovative approaches to employment creation, with a special focus on opportunities for young people.

Question 6: How will applicants access the Jobs Fund?
    The Jobs Fund issues an open call for proposals once or twice per annum. Applicants can go online www.jobsfund.org.za and submit an application. The Jobs Fund has a two stage application process. In stage one the applicant submits a concept application this is competitively assessed against all applications in the funding window if successful the applicant is invited to submit a full application (2nd stage) for consideration.
    Only if the applicant competes successfully in the 2nd stage will a grant be allocated. All funding decisions are made by an independent Investment Committee.
    The two stage application process is intended to improve processing time and to minimize any huge capital outlay by the applicant in preparing a detailed business plan without first having an opportunity to test that the concept will perform competitively against the Jobs Fund’s impact criteria.

Question 7: How long will it take to process an application?
    The assessment of applications starts on the day that the call for proposals closes. All applications are screened firstly for eligibility thereafter all applications within a funding window (Enterprise, Infrastructure, Support for Work Seekers and Institutional Capacity Building) are assessed competitively against each other using the Jobs Fund’s Impact criteria. The Fund has set as a target 110 days for the full assessment process however those applications that are not eligible will be informed by day 15 that they were not eligible, those that did not make it at the concept appraisal stage (stage 1) should know by day 55 and those that are not successful at the full appraisal (stage 2) will be informed by day 110. Because of the manual assessment process, these targets were not possible to achieve in the first call however for the 2nd call for proposals the Jobs Fund has implemented an electronic application system and this has resulted in improved turn- around times.

Question 8: What kind of projects will it fund?
    There are four funding windows:

    a) Enterprise Development: Investments in product development, local procurement, marketing support, equipment upgrading or enterprise franchising. Targets sustainable job creation initiatives linked to the development of private sector business development

    b) Infrastructure Investment: light manufacturing enterprise zones, local market and business hub facilities, critical transport and communication links and upgrading of infrastructure.

    c) Support for Work-seekers: Support programmes with a particular focus on unemployed young people such as job search projects, training activities and support for career guidance and placement services. Targets a cluster of initiatives aimed at facilitating rapid access to employment and work-related training

    d) Institutional Capacity-building: Provides for cross-cutting institutional strengthening and capacity building initiatives aimed at institutions through which job creation is facilitated.

    For the 3rd Call for proposals only the Enterprise Development and Infrastructure funding windows will be opened. Since opening in June 2011 it has received over 3,500 applications and has been oversubscribed in some windows.

    As a result it is only opening the enterprise development and infrastructure windows for this funding phase. Once this funding window closes and applications have been reviewed, the Investment Committee will review the balance of applications across the Fund and determine which areas will be open for future funding.

    Applicants should keep an eye on the website and media for future funding opportunities

Question 9: R9 billion is a lot of money - how will Government monitor it and ensure that there is no misuse or mismanagement?
    Every successful applicant will contract with the Jobs Fund. Project targets and milestones will be clearly defined at the inception of the project. Dedicated project monitoring and evaluation capacity will be allocated per project and disbursements are linked to project targets being achieved. National Treasury reserves the right to reclaim funds if misused.

Question 10: Will there be bias towards supporting local companies or are proposals open to all companies?
    There will be bias towards companies that demonstrate potential for growth and job creation in South Africa. The fund is targeted at established organisations with existing plans for expansion in South Africa that offer good prospects for sustainable job creation.

Question 11: What happens after the R 9 bn has been allocated?
    Government will continue to closely monitor and assess the performance and sustainability of the projects funded through this incentive. All the projects or employment initiatives must be sustainable over 3 to 5 years.

Question 12: What will it cost to run the Fund? I.e. is the R9 billion purely to fund jobs, or will some be diverted to cover administrative costs?
    The administrative costs of running the fund have already been calculated and is included in the R9 billion.

Question 13: Will there be any emphasis placed on regions or provinces in South Africa where unemployment is particularly high, or will applications from all areas be considered equally?
    The Fund will not limit investments to specific sectors or geographic regions. However, it will seek to support projects that contribute to addressing identified social and economic objectives.
    Projects will have to satisfy both eligibility and impact criteria. Eligibility criteria will be used to determine whether or not applicants conform to the core pre-requisites of the fund. Impact criteria will measure the relative merits of each application in relation to all others under consideration. Applications with the highest impact scores will be accepted for consideration. But the goal is the same: stimulating the economy and creating jobs.

Question 14: Why co-finance projects rather than provide loans?
    The Jobs Fund is distinct from existing development financing instruments in that it seeks to promote risk-taking and innovation so that established players can extend their core activities in ways which have a high social impact in this instance to fund projects that will result in innovative ways to create a higher demand for labour and to improve the supply of labour.
    It seeks to provide the smallest possible financial contribution to a socially worthwhile project consistent with making it less risky and more financially sustainable to the project promoter.

Question 15: Is this initiative enough to try to address the major challenge of job creation in South Africa?
    This is not the only government initiative aimed at addressing job creation. Government has introduced short term interventions such as the EPWP and CWP; the Jobs Fund targets the medium to long term through sustainable job creation.

Question 16: What are the latest results?
    To view the latest results, please visit the Home Page