Zuma announces new jobs fund
Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday announced the establishment of a jobs fund of R9bn over the next three years to finance new job-creation initiatives.
In addition, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) had set aside R10bn over the next five years for investment in economic activities with a high job creation potential, he told parliament in his third state of the nation address.
"It is also my pleasure... to announce R20bn in tax allowances or tax breaks to promote investments, expansions and upgrades in the manufacturing sector," Zuma said.
For a project to qualify, the minimum investment should be R200m for new projects, and R30m for expansion and upgrades.
The programme would provide an allowance of up to R900m in tax deductible allowances for new investors and R550m for upgrades and expansions.
Zuma said the small business sector was a critical component of the job creation drive.
"We will continue to provide financial and non-financial support to small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs), small scale agriculture as well as cooperatives.
"We need to cut administrative costs, avoid duplication and direct more resources to small business," he said.
Therefore, consideration was being given to merging the three agencies Khula, the SA Micro-Finance Apex Fund and the IDC's small business funding into a single unit.
The programmes of state owned enterprises and development finance institutions should also be more strongly aligned to the job creation agenda.
Research had indicated that jobs could be created in six priority areas.
These were infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy and tourism.
"We cannot create these jobs alone. We have to work with business, labour and the community constituencies. Experience shows that we succeed when we work together," Zuma said.