Jobs Fund Update from the MTBPS

Short update on the Jobs Fund from the MTBPS

The Jobs Fund - National Treasury funds, DBSA implements

Minister Pravin Gordhan provided a couple of details on Jobs Fund launched on the 7 June 2011. In the past five months, there has been a call for applications and a letter send to applicants indicating the process to be followed. Minister Gordhan indicates that 2 651 applications were received in the first call for proposals, with it:

illustrating the demand, innovation and desire across both the private and public sectors to create jobs,

according to Minister Gordhan.

The applications received covered enterprise development, support for work seekers, infrastructure investment and building institutional capacity. The outcome is that projects to the value of R 352 million has been allocated, with the prospect of creating 115 226 jobs.

Youth subsidy – Bringing education into the picture

Educational attainment is vital to addressing youth unemployment, yet remains peripheral to the debate on the youth subsidy.

The debate on youth subsidy has gathered pace. The arguments for a youth subsidy consist of two major arguments.
First, the high rates of unemployment amongst youth are exceedingly worrying. As shown in a previous chart on Zapreneur. The key features of the unemployment data by age, show that:
The key features of the data include that:

  • The biggest proportion of unemployed are concentrated in the age groups 15-24 years (29.5%) and 25-34 years (42.8%).
  • Unemployment for those 34 years old and younger accounts for 72,3% of unemployed South Africans.

Youth unemployment thus is a serious challenge, and perhaps the defining challenge that we face.
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Enter the entrepreneur? Budget 2011 Proposals for Many Small Businesses not Just White Tigers

Review of major tax and expenditure proposals impacting on small business.

 

zapreneur
Zapreneur declares it has an interest in this subject. Photo - Moe and Milsey's Construction Company

We like them. The small business that succeeds against the odds. Minister Gordhan even saluted a couple of success stories on the budget. In the build up to the budget, I choose to read The White Tiger by Indian author Aravind Adiga . The White Tiger provides a devastating description of the poverty traps, and that rare success stories translate to private gain without a wider social impact. The central premise of the book is that successful entrepreneurs are as rare as white tigers. In fact, in South Africa the data provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor indicates that job creating, opportunity based businesses are a rarity in South Africa. The book though not set in South Africa provides a useful refrain from the rah-rah usually associated with entrepreneurship. What then does the budget propose for the small business entrepreneur?
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Youth Subsidy and building consensus

Debates the proposals on a youth subsidy for South Africa.

Youth subsidy
KwaZulu-Natal Midlands: Ceramic painters Zama Nqubuku (foreground) and Wiseman Ndlovu at work in the Ardmore Ceramics studio. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee

Minister Pravin Gordhan reintroduction of the proposals around the youth subsidy is a brave political decision, given the overwhelming and justifiable criticism of the proposal. In tabling the new proposal Minister Gordhan has listened to the criticism and opted to tweak the proposal. The first proposal provided a wage subsidy or hiring voucher to lower cost of labour and compensate employers for the perceived risk of hiring inexperienced workers. In tweaking the proposal, government has shifted from this position, so that it is now to be administered as a tax credit. This is significant step as it potentially means that entry-level wages will remain the same.
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What will happen to the R 9 billion job creation fund?

Budget preview focussing on two distinct options to allocate the R 9 billion job creation fund.

2011 Budget Options

This article previews the budget looking at three options for spending the R 9 billion for job creation activities announced in the State of the Nation Address.
President Jacob Zuma left the details of the R 9 billion for job creation activities vague in his State of the Nation Address, simply saying:

We are pleased to announce the establishment of a jobs fund of 9 billion rand over the next three years to finance new job-creation initiatives.

The announcement on the details of this are eagerly anticipated when Minister Pravin  Gordhan delivers the 2011/12 Budget Speech. There are three major readings about what the details of the proposal will mean. The major options are:

  1. Application based fund
  2. Subsidy to support youth employment
  3. Support small business

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Taxes to support entrepreneurship

Preview of Budget 2011 and possible changes to taxation to support SMMEs and enterprise development.

Proposals on a major reform for small business taxes have been around for years. In this preview, we explore some of the options that potentially features in Budget 2011.

Photo: Rodger Bosch- Workers processing peppers on the production line of a food processing company near Port Elizabeth. Read more: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com

Proposal to utilise taxes to support small business and entrepreneurship are a strong possibility to feature in Budget 2011.
Minister Pravin Gordhan, in his 2010 Budget Speech indicated that small business taxation would be an area of focus in government. Work in this area has been undertaken, and government might be ready to offer significant tax incentives to small business and start-ups.The logic is important to understand – more employers = more jobs.  The result is that economic participation and inclusion is supported.

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