Today's Labour News

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southafricalogoBusinessLive reports that hundreds of millions of rand meant for beneficiaries of the Employment Creation Fund (ECF) have not been disbursed, allegedly because of a dispute between the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).  

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, whose department administers the fund intended for business support, said in a reply to a parliamentary question that the balance due to ECF projects was R508.8m.  "There are 31 projects that are in progress and will be completed once funds have been received from National Treasury," Davies indicated.  In a letter sent to fund beneficiaries late in July, department fund manager Paseka Masemula suggested that Treasury officials were holding back economic development and told fund beneficiaries that the ECF secretariat "are not confident that you are going to get your money any time soon, if ever".  He outlined the background to the dispute, which dates back to December 2016, saying it arose from the Treasury’s demand for an audit of the entire fund from inception.  He indicated a wish for the department to give up the programme altogether as the Treasury had not even provided funds for day-to-day administration, which has had been paid for out of the department’s budget.  SA’s unemployment rate is now at 27.2%.

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