THE management of the government’s R9bn jobs fund, which is aimed at supporting job creation, will now be transferred to the newly established Government Technical Advisory Centre from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Treasury announced on Friday.

The fund — established by the government in 2011 — awards grants to organisations through a competitive process and aims to create 150,000 permanent new jobs.

The advisory centre is an advisory and project management agency of the Treasury, and incorporates the former Public Private Partnership Unit and the Technical Assistance Unit.

“The transfer will facilitate the Government Technical Advisory Centre’s support for the jobs fund, while allowing the DBSA to focus on its core lending and development finance responsibilities,” the Treasury said.

The fund has to date approved funding for 91 projects, totalling R4.96bn, to facilitate the creation of more than 160,000 jobs over the programme’s life span.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said they took the challenge of unemployment very seriously, particularly for young people.

South Africa has an unemployment rate of 25.5% — indicating that almost 5.2-million people are jobless.

The Treasury said that the next phase in the implementation of the fund would see a shift towards partnerships with larger intermediaries to enable it to scale up its activities.

“A fourth funding round will be announced towards the end of this year,” the Treasury said.

The fund creates jobs by supporting initiatives that generate employment in innovative ways.

It offers one-off grants in the areas of enterprise development, infrastructure, support for work seekers and institutional capacity building.