The Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, says the newly launched Project Development Partnership Fund is aimed at addressing unemployment and ensuring that small businesses access funding.

The R2 billion fund was launched in Pretoria earlier on Friday. The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) will manage the project in partnership with the Labour Department and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Unemployment and access to business funding is still a challenge for many people in South Africa. According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the unemployment rate stands at the 27.5%.

Oliphant says the fund will also seek to ensure that retrenched people are re-trained to make them employable again.

“Offering funding to create and grow small businesses therefore creating new companies. Create companies in specific sectors such as Agri business and bio-science, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing and Information Communication TechnoIogy (ICT), social infrastructure, water and related services. Financial services and youth innovation. The fund will also be investing in PIC youth fund.”

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