Letter to Gordhan: National Jobs fund – funding unemployment

This is powerful stuff and highlights where the problem lies in South Africa. There are people wanting to make a difference, yet roadblock after roadblock from government institutions are put in the way. Last month we carried a piece from Greville Wood, which looked at regenerating South Africa from the bottom up.

It was a detailed plan, that looked at creating jobs and giving communities independence, with a concrete example of how it worked previously. Greville is the owner of GWD manufacturing engineering consultants with many years in the industry.

The project however does need funding, and was sent to the National Jobs Fund. And the reasons for ineligibility are ridiculous, and literally put every start up out of business before it gets a chance to start:

3.1. The applicant has not been actively trading/operating for 2 years or more.

3.2. No financial statements were submitted as required.

Nothing which states the project’s a bad idea… The Warrenton Association of Cooperatives have appealed to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan with the open letter below, but given Gordhan’s focus on trying to avoid the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, this may fall on deaf ears. – Stuart Lowman

From Warrenton Association of Cooperatives, Manufacturing and Farming Cooperative Businesses

Dear Minister Gordhan

We represent the jobless communities of Warrenton who formed cooperatives to implement manufacturing and farming plans that Magareng Town Council organised with engineers. These plans are aimed at creating 1 800 jobs and businesses we own, in five years in a town whose population is about 25 000. It can also be replicated countrywide and provide economic development in SA 2 700 odd jobless communities.

We write to you concerning the letter below from the Job Fund, as it is a very disturbing to fellow jobless people and we included. It confirms what engineers told us, that for 22 years government has misled the jobless people, as it has not developed a policy that can promote the development of industry in low skilled communities.

Consequently, as there is no policy to support long-term job creation by engineers, there are no jobs. All we have are failed projects developed by, sociologists and economists who have no scientific or technical training and cannot function practically in an industrial world.

The letter below, from the Job Fund declining an application for funds to develop industries and farming for the jobless people at Warrenton, shows that government does not have this policy, and the Treasury’s letter proves the point that our engineers are correct.

Attached are 3 emails/ letters, the first one-dated 1995 from Gauteng Province to our engineer. It advises that government did not have a policy that could promote engineers who could develop community owned businesses and industries in low skilled communities.

The second letter dated 10 May 2016, is from the same engineer, this time to Minister Davies pointing out that 21 years later, government still does not have a policy that could support engineers creating business and long-term industries in low skilled communities.

The third is a report in the Diamond Fields Advertiser where we in a draft asked the Constitutional Court to protect the jobless people of Warrenton against corrupt officials and councillors. Both got the message and stopped their crimes against us when we issued this draft to them.


Recently our farming plan that government and the dti has sat on since 1995, the Land Bank notified our engineers that they could sign funding contracts once Magareng Council forwards certain documents to them so that development can commence.

To drive this in council as they are holding up the project as they did before, we are holding a community meeting on the 21 June 2016 where we are inviting the jobless residence of Warrenton, NGO’s and Provincial Departments to discuss the Magareng Council issue. We will also discuss the manufacturing development plan the engineers provided Warrenton which government has also sat on since 1995.

In our possession, we have correspondence revealing that our engineers have since 1995 shown government that there is no policy capable of addressing unemployment countrywide, practically. Therefore, we invite an official from Treasury’s Job Fund to attend our meeting at the on the 21st June at 10 am.

As elections are nearby, we would like an explanation why Treasury did not fund our project, and why government has sat on what is now the Warrenton manufacturing and farming plan for 22 years, and failed to develop the necessary policies.

These plans can lift jobless people out of poverty countrywide, and we want to know why government chose to keep us in poverty for these 22 years? So please come and tell us why government chose to enforce poverty knowing that there were practical solutions that could lift us out of poverty.

We also have confirmation on the plans viability in the form of letters and reports from the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Goodyear, Siemens, The National Research Foundation, the CSIR, Wits School of Mechanical Engineering, the Medical Research Council, North West University, SA Academy of Engineering, Business Unity SA and the PE Technikon.

They all confirmed that the plans are viable and could in time; lift the majority of people out of poverty. Consequently, with such a support base we do not believe that those who evaluated the plans could understand them and therefore rejected them from a point of industrial ignorance trapping us further in poverty.

Unless they, like the dti, believe that all mentioned are incompetent in developing industry.

In terms of the Constitution of South Africa, we have a right to know why government effectively committed the majority of people it claimed to represent, to a life of poverty.

We want to understand why Treasury is carrying out government’s desire to keep us in poverty and from that understanding decide on a way forward to stop government imposing poverty upon the people it claims to represent, as it has done for the past 22 years.

Yours faithfully

Piet Marema for the Warrenton Association of Cooperatives

Letter from the Job fund below

PO Box 6686



Date: 07 June 2016

Dear Greville Wood

Re: JF6/1262 Sustainable Job Creation for Jobless Communities Application to the Jobs Fund

1. We acknowledge receipt of your application for the Innovation funding round, with thanks.

2. After an assessment of your application against the eligibility criteria; we regret to inform you that your application was deemed to be ineligible to proceed to the next stage.

3. The reasons for your ineligibility are as follows:

   3.1. The applicant has not been actively trading/operating for 2 years or more.

   3.2. No financial statements were submitted as required.

4. We would like to thank you for your interest in making a contribution toward creating jobs in South Africa.

Kind Regards,

Najwah Allie-Edries

Head: The Jobs Fund

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