The Motsepe Foundation has partnered with 33 religious groups to launch a R100 million Job Creation, Skills and Training Fund.
Businessman Patrice Motsepe and his wife Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who run the Foundation, attended the launch in Johannesburg on Thursday.
The initiative is in response to South Africa’s high unemployment rate, which currently stands at 29 percent, with more than 55 percent of young people being unemployed.
‘Create thousands of jobs’
Addressing the gathering, Motsepe said the fund will complement other initiatives by government, business and labour such as the Youth Employment Service.
He said, “We hope to create thousands of jobs. Of course, sustainable jobs. The main purpose is to send a message of hope [and] to make ordinary South Africans realise that the challenge of unemployment, poverty and marginalisation is a matter that all of us are concerned about.”
The fund will have an advisory council, which will in turn have two representatives from each of the 33 religious groups.
These groups will then bring forward job-creation applications from their own members for funding consideration.
The fund will approach donors and private corporations, and will meet four times a year. It will consider the first batch of applications at its first meeting on 25 November.
Some of the religious groups involved are Zion Christian Church, Muslim Judicial Council, and SA Hindu Maha Sabha.
Multibillion-rand fund for black farmers
This isn’t the first large-scale economic initiative that the billionaire businessman is involved in. Earlier in October, he revealed that plans are underway to establish a multibillion-rand fund for black farmers.
He made the revelation while addressing an African Farmers Association of SA (Afasa) agribusiness transformation conference in Bloemfontein.
Motsepe said this plan involves the Motsepe Foundation, major banks, and agribusiness stakeholders.
“The involvement and participation of black people is important. There is a huge sense of urgency to make sure we have sustainable black farmers in the industry,” he said.