A new ZAR 100 Mn fund was announced on Thursday which will be channeled to create jobs and inculcate skills that will help solve the country’s high unemployment rates.
The fund was donated by Motsepe Foundation, the philanthropy organization which became the first on the African continent to join the Giving Pledge, started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.
Billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe addressed the audience during the launch which took place on Thursday. He said the fund will be channeled to creating sustainable jobs in sectors like agriculture.
“The fund we are announcing today is a humble contribution from the partnership … the main purpose is to send a message of hope, also to instill confidence, but also to make ordinary South Africans realise that the challenge of unemployment, poverty, and marginalisation is a matter that all of us are concerned about,” Motsepe said.
The fund will work closely with 33 faith-based organisations, each of whom would appoint two representatives to serve on its council.
“The way it’s gonna 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.
The tycoon who happens to be the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals said the fund was a response to South Africa’s growing unemployment levels.
The country’s unemployment rate increased by 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2019 to 29 percent, the highest level since the first quarter of 2008, this is according to Statistics South Africa.
Youth aged 15–24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labor market as the unemployment rate among this age group is at 55.2 percent.
The mogul expressed confidence that through the partnership with religious faith-based organisations, thousands of jobs would be created, hope would be instilled and the living standards of South Africans would get better.
Featured Image Courtesy: Daily Maverick